Buffalo Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. has high hopes for the team's first-round draft pick Marcell Dareus. That's high, as in high on the facade of Ralph Wilson Stadium.
"I think he's going to be a great player for us," Wilson said Friday. "He's got the size. We're going for bigger and stronger guys than we have the last 10 years.
"I think he's a heckuva guy. He's an engaging guy. I told him we're drafting for character as well as ability. I told him we have passionate fans here, and you're going to get a lot of people asking to take your picture with them.
"I told him about a meeting I had today about the Wall of Fame," Wilson continued. "He said, 'I want to go over to see the stadium.' I said, 'Your name will be up there someday.' "
At 6-foot-3 and 319 pounds, Dareus is a big and powerful man. An ESPN Sport Science segment shows just how big and powerful.
A 2-minute, 34-second YouTube clip of the segment is available on the BillBoard blog at buffalonews.com. In the clip, Dareus is shown busting through 900 pounds of heavy bags and sacking a dummy quarterback in 2.03 seconds. That's almost six-tenths of a second faster than Pittsburgh defensive end LaMarr Woodley did it, even though Dareus weighs 50 pounds more than the Steelers' star.
Dareus' hit measured 3,831 pounds of force, the hardest hit Sport Science has ever measured.
Dareus has been given No. 99, the number worn last season by defensive end Marcus Stroud.
What does Dareus think about coming to one of the NFL's smallest markets? He said he had a good feeling about the city when he visited the team early in April on a predraft meeting.
"I told people when I left Buffalo after my visit, I called other people and told them, 'Buffalo may be my city,'" Dareus said. "Because I like it slow. It's a big city, but it's got a small-city feel to it. The fans love the team. It's just like Tuscaloosa (Ala.). The fans love Alabama. The fans love the Bills. When you got people behind you pushing you, it doesn't matter what else is going on as long as you're winning and you've got people who love to win and a bunch of people who want to win."
The Bills announced Friday that Ralph Wilson and the team joined with Verizon Wireless to donate $10,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to assist with the relief of the recent tornado disasters in the South.
Dareus and second-round pick Aaron Williams played against each other in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game that was won by Dareus and the Crimson Tide. Williams earned a rep for ending the college career of Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, but Dareus changed the momentum of the title game when he knocked Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy out the game.
"I knew I got him by the way the hit felt and by the way his head rocked back," Dareus told ESPN at the time. "I got a clean shot on him, and those are the kinds of hits you can feel."
Said Williams about Dareus and the game: "We trained together, and we swapped a lot of stories. We talked about the game and how it should have turned out, and we laughed about it, but now it's time to go to work."