Bills fifth-round draft pick Ed Wang has already been the first a few times in his life. Last month he was the first person of full Chinese descent to be an NFL draft choice.
Now a month later he's the first of Buffalo's nine draft choices to be under contract. Wang signed with the club Thursday afternoon following the close of the first set of OTA practices.
"Just to get it all out of the way and show that I'm really here to focus on football that was my whole point," Wang told Buffalobills.com. "I'm really happy. So now I can really just focus on football and do what I have to do on the field."
Wang's parents, Robert and Nancy, made the trip up to Buffalo to witness their son signing his first NFL contract.
"It was very important," said Wang of having his parents present. "My family means everything to me so it's just great to have them up here and be with me and share this moment."
Wang has an uphill battle to earn significant playing time as a rookie this season with a couple of young veterans ahead of him on the depth chart at the offensive tackle position in Demetrius Bell and Jamon Meredith.
But with Bell still rehabbing from offseason knee surgery, Wang spent his first week of OTA practices working with the second unit.
"You've got better players in there now so it's more competition," said Wang. "It's a great opportunity for me right now so I'm just trying to take advantage of it."
Wang's popularity in his parents' native China has been off the charts since he was drafted. He's being hailed as a pioneer for Chinese athletes. The rookie is still trying to fully understand the impact he's had overseas.
"I think I'm grasping it more and more every day," he said. "I know it's really important and I welcome it with open arms. I'm really excited for it, but right now I'm really just focusing on football."
After a successful college career at Virginia Tech, where he was a two-year starter at left tackle, Wang has what Buffalo's scouting department believes is a lot of upside.
Bills GM Buddy Nix confirmed that Wang has the athletic skill set to play left tackle in the NFL. Now its up to Wang to make it happen.
Buffalo now has eight draft choices left to sign before training camp opens on July 29th.