"I'm not a big fan of quarterbacks," he said. "I never had an arm to throw. I had the speed to get them."
The Bills have taken their share of criticism for poor drafting, which has done plenty to cause them to go 11 consecutive years without a playoff appearance.
This year, they seem to have gotten their first pick right — and it didn’t even require a whole lot of effort on their part.
Essentially, all the Bills had to do was sit tight with the third overall pick and wait for Alabama DT Marcell Dareus, arguably the best player in the draft who also filled their biggest area of need, to come to them.
"Sometimes people have not given him enough credit as a pass-rusher," Gailey said. "He can get on the edge of a guard. That's where he had most of his success as a pass-rusher, between the tackles. But he's a good guy coming off the outside edge as well.
"He'll have an impact. If nothing else, with him hanging around the middle in there, it doesn't allow anybody [on the offense] to go out and chip and help outside. It makes them stay inside."
Why the Bills took him: The Bills ranked dead last against the run last year, allowing 169.6 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry. Dareus, at 6-foot-2 and 308 pounds, is considered the best defensive lineman in the draft and highly versatile, able to play nose tackle or 5-technique defensive end in the 3-4 or line up as a defensive tackle in a 4-3.
"I can't explain the way I feel," Dareus said after his selection in Radio Music City Hall. "Since the fifth grade I wanted to play this game. I never thought it would get to this point where I'm sitting here in the first round, third pick overall, the Buffalo Bills. It's overwhelming. I can't even explain it."
The 21-year-old Dareus is Alabama's earliest draft pick since linebacker Cornelius Bennett was taken with the second overall pick in the 1987 draft.
The Deal: Cleveland traded the No. 6 overall pick to Atlanta in exchange for No. 27th pick overall, a second-round pick (No. 59), a fourth round pick (No. 124), and a 2012 first-round pick and fourth-rounder.
The Skinny: The Falcons moved from up 21 spots (and gave up a haul) to get the dynamic Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. The Falcons have not won a playoff game since 2004 and with an eye on changing that, quarterback Matt Ryan now adds a second physical wideout alongside Roddy White.
The Falcons like the way that Julio Jones, their first-round pick, blocks in the running game.
"Our receivers are going to block, and Julio fits that mold," Smith said. "That is one of the things we look really closely at. Not only is he an outstanding pass catcher, but he has great speed. He is a very competitive guy. He loves to block, and there is no doubt about it."
"It was an aggressive, bold move to get up from 27 to six," conceded Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff. "We knew it was going to cost us. As an organization we felt very strongly about the move for a player who truly adds the explosive, urgent athleticism we're looking for to improve on this team."
Is Jones worth that kind of bounty? The track record of first-round receivers emphatically says no. But if he helps the Falcons maximize the window of Super Bowl opportunity they currently have, at what price that kind of glory? I give Dimitroff credit for going all in, and rolling the dice on a player he believes will help Atlanta reach elite status.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff comes from the New England Patriots' model of doing business, having served the majority of his decade-long run with that team as an apprentice under Bill Belichick before being hired by Arthur Blank to clean up the mess left by the ugly departures of Michael Vick and then-head coach Bobby Petrino in 2007. The Patriot way has always been to trade down early on the draft and accumulate more picks in later rounds, thereby achieving the dual goal of doling out less guaranteed money to unproven rookies while also laying a more solid foundation for the future.
To say Dimitroff went against his learned principles is an understatement. The Falcons paid a steep price to the Cleveland Browns for the opportunity to snare Jones, a physical marvel who gives quarterback Matt Ryan a tantalizing target for a potentially lethal aerial attack. Not only did Atlanta give up its first, second and fourth-round selections (Nos. 27, 59 and 124), but its first-round choice in next year's draft as well.
When a first round pick is announced and there's an audible "who?" followed by stunned silenced, it's probably safe to classify it as a reach. That was exactly the reaction the Seattle Seahawks were faced with when Roger Goodell stepped to the podium and announced James Carpenter, an offensive tackle from Alabama, was the No. 25 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Like sharks sensing blood in the water, the pundits circled and got ready to rumble as soon as the pick was announced.
"James brings us a toughness that we need. We need to continue to build our football team up front and it’s a necessary move to make to get this guy," Carroll said. "... It’s not as exciting as a flashy receiver or something like that, but at this stage for our program we think it’s really important to get hard-nosed, tough guys who can come in and have some flexibility and really help us out."
Seattle appeared to be trying to make a trade when its turn came to pick as it took the clock all the way down to within 30 seconds before reporting its selection. I thought Jimmy Smith was the better option, as the highly touted CB was still on the board and went to the Ravens shortly thereafter. However, character concerns with Smith are merited, and a veteran atmosphere like that of Baltimore may be a better fit for him than a young Seattle club.
(What was your reaction to the pick?) "It was crazy. I was so shocked. I thought I was going to go in the second (round), but somebody had faith in me. I’m glad to be a Seattle Seahawk."
If he's known for nothing else, he'll forever be the reason that no one had a perfect mock draft. That's for sure. Most draft analysts projected Carpenter, an offensive tackle, to be a mid-to-late second rounder. Instead, he was drafted ahead of his Alabama mate Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner.
"I mean, Mark is a real good player," a surprised Carpenter said Thursday night. "I'm good myself."
He sounded like a man who knows he'll need to convince you of that. Carpenter admitted to being "shocked" that the Seahawks took him so high. He expected to be taken Friday, so he was watching Thursday's first round mostly to root on teammates Ingram and Marcell Dareus, who was the third overall pick.
The New Orleans Saints selected running back Mark Ingram with the 28th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night, an indicator, according to Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole, that Reggie Bush's(notes) days with the team are numbered.
Bush seems to agree, since he tweeted "It's been fun New Orleans" Thursday evening after Ingram was selected.
It's always dangerous to leap to conclusions on draft picks. But at first glance, this looks like a pair of hits. From all accounts, Jordan and Ingram own the makeup, character and talent to be solid pros. Maybe they won't be the second coming of Mike Strahan and Deuce McAllister -- the players Saints officials compared them to on Thursday -- but they also aren't the kind of guys who are going to fall on their facemasks and be outright busts.
"I wasn't expecting it," he said. "It was a pleasant surprise. I just want to let my dad know that I love him. He has everything to do with the man I am today and I love him."
"I knew they had liked my game," Ingram said. "I’m excited that they traded up to come get me. They have a lot of great backs down there. I’m just going to go down there, work my butt and contribute to the team and help them win championships."
Although they already have Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush and Chris Ivory, this move has the second coming of Deuce McAllister written all over it. Thomas, Bush and Ivory each are very good as role players. But Ingram basically can do what each of those guys does and can do it better. He should quickly become the best all-around running back on the roster.
"Julio waited 22 picks for me to go," Ingram said. "He and coach Saban and the others supported me, they were encouraging me the whole time, telling me to keep my head up and that everything was going to work out.
"I've got to thank them so much. It just shows how close the Alabama family is that they would stay there for me. It was just amazing that they rallied behind me and just stayed with me until I got picked."