Hi, everybody. I’ll be writing over here with Brad and the crew whenever I feel inspired to write something about the Bills. I was writing an article on the biggest 10 draft busts the past decade over at www.nflmocks.com and the one thing I noticed that kept popping up was Bills mistakes. I thought I’d take a look at what could have been instead of what the Bills did.
How bad have the Bills drafted recently? Well, it’s just painful. Let’s see what could have been, instead of what is.
I think the Bills have actually done an O.K. job with their draft picks in the latter part of the draft, but the first round has been awful. Let’s take a painful look at what has happened since 2004.
In 2004 the Buffalo Bills chose WR Lee Evans at 13th overall and J.P. Losman at 22nd overall.
Lee Evans has had a solid career averaging 15.7 yards per reception in his career, and 5,934 yards with only two seasons eclipsing a 1,000 yards (really? wow. Thought it’d be more). A lot of that can be blamed on the erratic and poor QB play, but Evans has not been the receiver the Bills hoped he would be (and if you’re nauseous now you might want to brace for what’s to come). (I’m a Bills fan. I’m perpetually nauseous. – BA)
J.P. Losman was an utter failure.
What could have been?
Well, let’s assume that the Bills were picking at those two spots again and that they were not using the picks they got to move up to grab Losman instead on moving up to grab Big Ben. Drafted between the Bills pick at 14 and 22nd were: Tommie Harris, Michael Clayton, Shawn andrews, D.J. Williams, Will Smith, Vernon Carey, Kenechi Udeze, and Vince Wilfork.
Verdict: For the most part those players are not worlds better than Evans. Harris had some special years, but lost his starting job last year. Andrews has back problems, Smith has been pretty good but not spectacular. Carey is a solid pro. And Vince Wilfork is very good. This actually wasn’t a terrible pick.
At 22nd overall the Bills grabbed J.P. Losman.
At 24th overall Steven Jackson came off the board. And then a whole lot of nothing for the rest of the first round. Players like RaShaun Woods (played literally one year in the league). Jason Babin and Chris Gamble have been the only other players other than Jackson who have been good pros.
The top of the second round was very good though as Chris Snee, Karlos Dansby, Igor Oshlansky all came off the board. All players have been better pros than Losman, especially Snee who is an All-pro caliber guard year in and year out.
The Bills first pick was in the second round (because of the Losman trade-which ended up being the 20th overall pick…where they could have had a young QB out of Cal by the name of Aaron Rodgers had they waited a year to grab a QB). And with that pick they chose Roscoe Parrish, WR, out of Miami.
What could have been
6 picks later the Chargers chose a tall WR out of Northern Colorado Vincent Jackson. RB Frank Gore and S O.J. Atogwe were players chosen 10 and 11 spots later from the Bills pick.
With the 8th pick the Bills chose S Donte Whitner out of Ohio State. A pick many speculate was a knee-jerk reaction pick after the Raiders chose S Michael Huff with the pick before. Whiter has not been a bust, and has been decent at times. Though he hasn’t made enough impact plays for a top 10 safety with 5 INT and 1.5 sacks in 5 seasons as the starter. Huff on the other hand has come around as a playmaker the last two years registering 6 INT and 4.5 sacks the past two seasons (4 last season).
What could Have been
Jay Cutler, the player I wanted for the Bills: Haloti Ngata, and Kameron Wimbley were selected 3,4, and 5 picks later.
It’s understandable that they didn’t want to draft Cutler at the time because you can’t give up on a first round QB yet, but reaching for a safety at 8th overall is not a good move.
The Bills drafted Marshawn Lynch 12th overall. Lynch is very talented (as evidence check out his run vs. the Saints this past playoffs).
But an inability to follow the law and stay out of the news made him expandable to the Bills. Lynch hovered right around 4.0 yards per carry with the Bills and rushed for only 17 touchdowns.
Two picks later the Jets ended up with Darrelle Revis.
6 picks later the Bengals ended up with the player I liked for the Bills: CB Leon Hall.
The next three running backs drafted where Kenny Iron, Chris Henry, and Brandon Jackson. If the Bills were determined to go RB early, at least they got, sadly, the best of the bunch.
The Bills drafted Leodis McKelvin 11th overall. McKelvin’s biggest impact play has been a botched, pointless kick return vs the Patriots to extend a losing streak to the Patriots to something like 200 times. McKelvin has shown flashes, but needs to put together a very good season this year for this pick to be considerd good. 4 INT in two years (was hurt almost all season two years ago).
What could have been
Ryan Clady was the next pick in the draft. Jonathan Stewart, Chris Williams, Branden Albert, and Dominique Rodgers Cromartie were the five picks right after the Bills chose. All have shown flashes at times, but disappointed at others.
Pick I wanted: McKelvin. I liked the McKelvin pick.
Next 3 CB’s chose: DRC, Aqib Tablib, Antoine Cason
2009. This next one is going to hurt.
The Bills drafted Aaron ^#^$^ Maybin 11th overall. Maybin, a one year wonder at college who lacked ideal size has done absolutely nothing on the field. Terrible pick.
They also had pick #28 because of a trade with the Eagles for Jason Peters which they used on Eric Wood. Wood has the potential to be a very good player – especially at center – in this league but he’s had bad luck with injuries. Hopefully he can realize his potential.
What Could Have Been
The next five picks were: Knowshown Moreno, Brian Orakpo (more on that in a second), Malcom Jenkins, Brian Cushing, and Larry English.
Pick I wanted: Before the draft it was Jeremy Maclin, or Eugene Monroe. I think I also liked Everette Brown if I remember correctly.
I was convinced Brian Orakpo would be drafted by in the top 5-8 picks.
And when the 49ers chose Crabtree at 10 I was dancing because I knew the Bills would grab Brian Orakpo. Why wouldn’t they? They needed a defensive end in the worst way and Orakpo was the best player available. That’s a No-Brainer! Instead they choose Aaron Maybin? What to play DE in the 43? Are they nuts? (It’s the Bills. Yes. – BA)
Next three DE chosen. Orakpo, Larry English, Robert Ayers/Clay Matthews as 34 OLB. Evertte Brown.
Eric Wood was chosen 28th overall.
Next five picks:
Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Britt, Beanie Wells, Ziggy Hood, Louis Delmas.
Next three interior OL taken. Max Unger, Andy Levitre, Antoine Caldwell.
As a guy who supports Best Player Available, I don’t hate on the C.J. Spiller pick. He still has the ability to be a dynamite asset for the Bills. Just wish the Bills had the kind of blocking Spiller could excel with.
Spiller had an up and down season last year. He averaged nearly 4 yards per carry, had some huge returns, and caught 24 balls out of the backfield in limited duty. He lost too many fumbles, for sure.
What could have been.
It’s too early to get into what these players will turn out to be. The next five picks were Tyson Alualu, Anthony Davis, Ryan Matthews, Brandon Graham, and Earl Thomas
Next three running backs: Ryan Matthews, Jahvid Best, and Toby Gerhart.
Player I wanted: Rather not say (*cough cough Clausen* cough cough). or Byran Baluaga. One of my other personal favorites, though wasn’t rooting for them on the Bills was Earl Thomas
So this year:
Who do I think the Bills should draft to go on record: Patrick Peterson or Von Miller. But when you pick third the options to root for our pretty easy.
Worst Fear: Ryan Kerrigan (on PFT from some lunatic claiming he has insider sources at 1 Bills drive). Could you imagine what would happen if the Bills drafted Kerrigan third overall?
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