Tom Mordak. The name alone will make many a Bills’ diehard’s blood boil. Buffalo’s vice president of college scouting since May 2001, he is blamed for many of the Bills’ draft blunders in recent years. Mike Williams, Donte Whitner, J.P. Losman, John McCargo, Aaron Maybin…all drafted in the first round with Mordak in charge. None have exactly panned out. (Whatever your feelings on Whitner, you can’t justify his selection with the eighth pick in the draft.)
That’s a lot of first-round awfulness, so I found it interesting that ESPN’s Tim Graham, writer of the site’s AFC East Blog, today posted this article making this statement: that the Bills’ recent draft history is not as terrible as you might think.
This statement might seem ridiculous to Bills fans, many of whom would probably punch Mordak in the head if they saw him in public. (Including me, maybe.) But does Graham has a point? Are Buffalo’s recent drafts better than the general consensus thinks?
Despite the Bills’ glaring lack of success in the first round, the Bills have had some late-round draft success in recent seasons. Pro Bowlers Terrence McGee and Kyle Williams were fourth- and fifth-round picks, respectively. Stevie Johnson was a steal in the seventh round. Demetrius Bell was certainly worth a seventh-round pick. And then there’s…um…
…You know what? No. I can’t do this.
Sorry Tim Graham. Buffalo has NOT drafted well, or even adequately, in the past decade. Mordak can spin this however he wants, but the fact remains that the Bills have whiffed on almost every first round pick since 2002. The Bills’ BEST first round picks in that time? Lee Evans, Willis McGahee, Eric Wood. McGahee’s not here anymore and Lee Evans has never quite broken through to that superstar level. That’s not great production from a decade’s worth of top picks.
As we’ve examined in the past, Buffalo’s roster has a glaring lack of elite talent. That’s on Mordak and everyone else who has had a hand in making Buffalo’s recent first-round picks. Buffalo is never going to be able to attract elite free-agent talent. If the Bills ever plan on even returning to the playoffs, let alone contending for a Super Bowl, top picks just have to start panning out.
If not, it’s time to clean out the scouting department.