1. Do you remember watching the draft when you were younger? If so, does a certain player or moment stand out to you?
When I was drafted obviously, we had a heavy receiver draft in '96 but I followed the draft after me – even when I retired. I've watched a lot of the Bills' drafts and I've been intrigued by a lot of players and I was excited when they drafted a guy like Kyle Williams, and I enjoyed when they drafted Sammy Watkins. So, I've kept up with a lot of the drafts in the past and a lot of the Bills players.
2. What was the most memorable part of the draft process for you?
Well, it was very stressful. I mean, you have a lot of teams, being a first-round pick, interested. Like I said, in '96, it was a receiver heavy draft, so you would get calls from teams that were interested in maybe drafting you. They would tell you, 'Hold on a second. We're thinking about drafting you or another guy, so we're going to make a decision soon.' You're sitting there waiting and then the team comes, and they drafted another player. So, it's just one of those things that's very stressful but when it's all over with, and your name is called, you get that phone call, it makes it worthwhile.
3. Can you describe how you felt in the days, hours, leading up to the draft?
I was home with family. I had about seven news crews there, so I had about 400-500 people. They were having a party outside and I was inside with a lot of my immediate family and we had news crews coming in, and things of that nature. The cameras made it a little more stressful, but it was a fun process.
4. How did you react when your named was called? What was the celebration like?
It was kind of a delayed reaction because you try to tell family and friends, 'Do not call this line.' But there's always somebody that calls, whether it's an aunt, grandparent, uncle or something. They're calling just to talk to your mom. You're thinking it's a team, so everybody in the house gets quite and then you have to give the phone to your mom [and say], 'It's for you. It's my uncle.' But, eventually, when I got the call from the Bills, at the time, the late general manager got on the line and then he gave it to Marv Levy. When I talked to Marv Levy for about three-four minutes, I knew that I was officially a Bill. I knew where I was going, so it took a lot of pressure off me. I just continued to, after that, enjoy my family and friends and all of a sudden all of the Bills gear came on.
Scroll through to view photos of notable Bills second-round draft picks throughout franchise history. The Bills are currently slated to have their first pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft at number 54 overall.
5. How many phone calls do you think you received after you were drafted?
I left the party with my closest friend. We decided to leave the party, sneak away. We said we were going to the store to get some more sodas. So, we snuck away. After that, my mom said a lot of people called to congratulate me, but I just wanted to get away with my best friend because he was with me through the whole process. And I decided, 'Let's just get out of here for a couple of hours' and actually, we just went fishing and got away from everybody.
6. What's it been like for you to see how much the draft has changed since yours?
It's crazy. You look at social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok…There's a lot of coverage that's going to happen during the draft. I think you have more access to players nowadays than you did when we were playing because you can actually watch players work out. You can see and really communicate with players more so than you could when we played. We were in that era where you hear about Michael Jordan, those people now. You couldn't have access to Michael Jordan as much because he didn't have social media back then. We were in that era that we didn't have that. So, a lot of fans now can identify with players a little bit more because you have access to direct message that player and if that player responds back to you or you can follow a player.
7. Do you have any advice for guys that are draft eligible this year?
My biggest thing I would tell them, is just enjoy and have patience. The draft is a long process in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth rounds. So, if your name is not called, that doesn't mean [it won't be]. If you're the first pick in the draft, it doesn't mean you're going to be the best player to come out of that draft. If you're the last player picked, it doesn't mean you're going to be the worst player in that draft. You can look at so many scenarios. You look at Bruce Smith, who turned out to be one of the best defensive ends of all time and he was the first pick in the draft. You look at Tom Brady, who was a sixth-round pick, and ends up being one of the best quarterbacks to every play. So, it doesn't really matter where you get drafted. I just tell guys to enjoy the process, have fun with your family, friends and soak it all in because if you're drafted, it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.