The vast majority of our readers here at BLD seem to think that the Bills did a pretty nice job in the 2011 Draft. 75% of those of you that have voted in our draft poll so far gave Buffalo an “A” or a “B” for the team’s selections. (If you haven’t voted yet, do so now!)
Fortunately, the majority of NFL draft experts seem to agree. Here’s a selection of quotes from around the web:
Mel Kiper, ESPN: “Buffalo drafted some really good football players and clearly put the emphasis on defense. Dareus is the ideal penetrating pass-rusher to convert into a 3-4 defensive end and allows the Bills to really stick with that scheme. The Bills also got a good value with Williams early in Round 2.” Kiper did not like that Buffalo didn’t address the offensive line until Day 3, however. Kiper’s grade: B
Adam Caplan, Fox: “For a change, the Bills actually drafted for value and don’t appear to have made any real reaches. In fact, the first five selections should contribute this season and a few of them might start.” Caplan’s grade: B+
Clifton Brown, Sporting News: “Counting on Ryan Fitzpatrick as their quarterback, they went heavy on defense. Tackle Marcell Dareus could be a star.” Brown’s grade: B+
Don Banks, Sports Illustrated: “The Bills didn’t get tricky, they just got better. They needed help on defense, and got plenty of it. They resisted the urge to take a quarterback in the early rounds and focused like a laser on improving their run defense, which finished last in the NFL in 2010 with almost 170 yards allowed per game. Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was one of the elite players in this draft, and the Bills made him their pick at No. 3 overall. Banks deemed Buffalo one of the “winners” of the draft.
Tim Graham, ESPN: “The AFC East’s best decision of the draft was for the worst team to not get cute.
The Buffalo Bills didn’t have to think when they filled out their draft card and sent it up to the commissioner. After the Denver Broncos selected Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller, the Bills rejected any thoughts about targeting a quarterback and pounced on Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus, perhaps the safest pick in the entire draft.”