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Draft Memories: Lee Evans

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1. Do you remember watching the draft when you were younger? If so, does a certain player or moment stand out to you?

You know, I kind of looked at the draft as a whole – just the whole process of it. Growing up in Cleveland, I was a big Browns fan. So, as I got older, the draft that sticks out to me is the one where we could possibly get Donovan McNabb. We didn't choose him. We chose another quarterback, but that one was probably the first time that I was playing football, I was having success. I was of age where I thought I could be in that position. I remember that draft. But the draft, growing up watching it, it wasn't what it is today. Obviously if you played, you watched it. If you knew the players, you saw where they went, who they went to and it was an exciting time. 

2. What was the most memorable part of the draft process for you?

For me, coming into that draft, I came in with a different type of mindset. Coming off an injury, and battling back from that, then [I was] trying to figure out, 'Medically, how are they going to look at me?' You hear from doctors that you're good. You played well, had a good season but then when you get looked at by some different doctors, with a different opinion on things, a different way of viewing things, is it still going to hold up? So, that was probably the biggest concern for me – just how they were going to look at me medically and see how they valued me from that perspective.

3. Can you describe how you felt in the days, hours, leading up to the draft? Were you on-site at the draft?

I was not. I was at home. I was at my parents' house. We did it at my parents' house and had all my family around me and we sat there. It was as stressful and anticipation-filled of a situation that I'd ever been in for sure. You just don't know. You go take these visits, you talk to teams and you get a good vibe, but you just never know. You never know what can happen throughout a draft…I came in when there was a ton of receivers coming in at the time. It was pretty stressful.

4. How did you react when you got the call? Did you celebrate after?

It was a huge celebration. Even if you watch it on TV now and guys are at home or at some other place, when they find out they got drafted, they're always on the phone, right? You're talking to the GM…So, the announcement is made, but you, as a player, you're sitting there talking on the phone…I'm in a different room and you just hear the cheers from your family and all of that. It's really a surreal experience.

5. Were you flooded with calls afterward?

Oh yeah. At that point, everybody's reaching out, everybody's saying, 'Congratulations.' It's really a day that's hard to [explain]. It's kind of like your wedding day, right? You meet and talk to everybody, but until you can reflect back on it, you don't really realize how special of a day it is.

6. What memory from that day stands out most?

I was in a separate room than my family at the time it happened. So, when I walked out of the door and saw my family and everybody for the first time, that greeting, that love right there, will be something I'll never forget.

7. Do you have any advice for guys that are draft eligible this year?

Right now, you've prepared, you've taken the tests. Now, you wait. There's no calming. It's just waiting to see. It's the anticipation. If you've done everything to prepare, and you did it to the best of your ability, you can't really anticipate what somebody else is going to do. So, when you get the opportunity, whenever that is, however that is, you just make the best of it.

Scroll through to view some notable images of Bills players on draft day through the years. The 2020 NFL Draft gets underway on Thursday, April 23.

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