Sunday, May 8, 2011

NFL Draft Team Grades-Buffalo Bills

Oh... the Bills. Wow, how they have found new and inventive ways to suck for the last decade. The Bills are a team that need help in just about every area, and so they really could not go wrong, but it has to be about value, and not just making random picks, and that's what the Bills have been guilty of in recent years. In the 80's and 90's, it was completely the opposite. That was why they had so much success during the Marv Levy years, regardless of their infamous Super Bowl losses. Let's take a look at their draft, and see where the rebuilding process stands...

Round 1, Pick 3
Marcell Dareus, DT

You could not go wrong with selecting either of the top tackles in this draft on the defensive side, and the Bills went with Dareus over Nick Fairley of Auburn. Dareus recorded 11 TFLs in 2010, with 4.5 sacks, but he is a run disrupter, a pocket crusher, a tackle that just disrupts the flow of the interior game. He is huge without looking slow or fat, and his technique is suited to what the Bills want to do. Dareus is a strong pick, and he is an awesome choice for a place to start building for 2011 and beyond.
Grade: A

Round 2, Pick 2
Aaron Williams, CB

Here's another red flag pick, as he is a corner who didn't pick off a pass in 2010. He only has 3 picks in the last two seasons. He did break up 8 passes last season, so I am not doubting that there is some talent here, and also take into effect that the Longhorns had a terrible overall season in 2010. The Bills love him at both Corner and Safety, and Safety could be where finally ends up. Overall, he gives the Bills additional depth in a very talented secondary.
Grade: B

Round 3, Pick 4
Kelvin Sheppard, LB

Sheppard was a tackling machine in 2010, having led the Tigers with 116 tackles. He could push for a starting job right away, and he gives the Bills an aggressive potential leader, and he gets all over the field with his tremendous range. The Bills will love this guy, and the defense got better with this selection. Sheppard also recorded 11 TFLs and 4 sacks last season. Sheppard has 226 tackles over the last two seasons. Winning!
Grade: A+

Round 4, Pick 3
Da'Norris Searcy, DB
North Carolina

Searcy may very well be the best DB selected by the Bills, even though he was the third. Searcy led the Tarheels with 4 picks last season in only 10 games. Searcy is an early entry into this draft, but his long term future is bright. Where he adds serious value is in the return game, as he averaged over 14 yards per punt return, and took one to the house. This is a very high value pick for a mid round selection.
Grade: A

Round 4, Pick 25 (From Seattle)
Chris Hariston, OT

This may have been the first slip up for the Bills in this draft. Hairston struggled badly in the postseason all-star games, and just looked overmatched at times, and seemed very out of place. Nobody doubts his toughness, but they do doubt his athletic ability. He graded out as a much later pick. His conditioning has come into question, and he does have some injury history that could be concerning. hey may have reached here.
Grade: D

Round 5, Pick 2
Johnny White, RB
North Carolina

White was the leading rusher for the Tarheels last season, but only rushed for 720 yards, good for 80 yards per game. He is not as good as Fred Jackson or CJ Spiller, so I am not sure that drafting a 3rd back in this spot was wise. He does not give you a ton of value as a receiver either, although he has been a small factor in the UNC passing game at times. Not sure what this pick was all about.
Grade: D

Round 6, Pick 4
Chris White, LB
Mississippi State

He was drafted to provide depth and serve as a special teamer this season. White was a serious tackle machine in 2010, as he led the Bulldogs with 110. He also led the team with 15.5 TFLs and 6 sacks last season. Probably not athletic to the tune that NFL teams would like, but damn, with numbers like those, I'd take a shot.
Grade: B

Round 7, Pick 3
Justin Rogers, DB

The experts call him small, and he is said to be best suited for a nickle or dimeback spot on the defense, if he makes the team. He was not the best DB on his team in 2010, and had 2 picks for the season. Suited best to match up against a slot man in passing downs only. Probably was better suited to be a rookie free agent.
Grade: D

Round 7, Pick 42
Michael Jasper, DT
Bethel (TN)

Jasper has played offense and defense during his career at tiny Bethel College. He is #69 in this photo, and as you can see, it is possible to see a mountain spontaneously move. He is massive. Here's the thing, I don't see him making this team, but do see him as a crowd pleaser during training camp, just by getting a chance to see him in person. It's got to be impressive.
Grade: D

Potential Surprise Players
C. White, Searcy, Sheppard

Potential Flops
Jasper, Rogers, J. White, Hairston

Sure To Be a Star

Sure To Be a Flop
No guarantees in the first group. Several options from round 4 on down.

Final Team GPA
The upper half carried this draft for the Bills, but the lower half weighed it down. Chris White is my only hope for real value with this draft class for the Bills in the lower rounds. Lots of projects and flop potential from 4 to 7. A tale of two drafts.

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