BUFFALO BILLS (2010 record: 4-12; finished 4th in the AFC East)
5-Year NFL Draft Review: The Buffalo Bills drafting process has been an exercise in futility over the past five years. Prior to the hiring of Buddy Nix in 2010, the team lacked a legitimate general manager for the better part of a decade. In recent years, the team has relied on two separate entities in their draft day decision-making process. The first being a legendary 80 year-old head coach who in-turn deferred his draft day decisions to his 60 year-old head coach who was eventually chased out of town by an outspoken and enraged fan base. The second being a marketing guru who by his own admission had little football scouting and technical knowledge and relied on a heavily flawed scouting department. The Bills, who haven’t reached the postseason since 2000, can attribute their lack of success to draft day reaches and failures that have left the team depleted in depth and talent. The jury is still out on Nix’s first draft class but one thing is for certain,
2010- C.J. Spiller-RB-Clemson: Going into the 2010 draft the last thing on Bills fans’ minds in terms of team needs was running back. The team had Fred Jackson coming off a career year that landed him in the NFL record books for most total all-purpose yards in a season and Marshawn Lynch who seemed primed to bounce back from a disappointing 2009 campaign. Going for the shock-and-awe factor, Nix and head coach Chan Gailey selected Spiller to be their showstopper. Spiller did not meet expectations in his rookie campaign due in part to a lingering hamstring injury, lack of playing time and Gailey’s pass-happy offense. Spiller showed flashes of brilliance when he was able to get into the open field and will benefit greatly from more playing time going forward. A healthy Spiller and Jackson should give the Bills a formidable two-pronged rushing and receiving attack out of the backfield for years to come.
2009- Eric Wood-G/C-Louisville: Wood has been a force on the Bills’ interior offensive line in his two years with the team. Drafted to be the team’s right guard, he actually made the shift to center last season when Geoff Hangartner went down with a knee injury late in the year. Wood, who played the position all four years at
2008- Leodis McKelvin-CB-Troy: Selected 11th overall in the ’08 draft, McKelvin was projected to be the lock-down corner the Bills so desperately needed to replace the likes of Nate Clements and eventually Jabari Greer who both left for big pay days. Although he’s shown big play ability on kick returns, McKelvin has been anything but a shut-down corner. He has totaled only four interceptions in his three year career (only played in 3 games in ’09 because of injury) and at times has been targeted by opposing quarterbacks. The low moment of his young career might have been when Vikings’ QB Tavaris Jackson tore him apart in a 38-14 week 13 loss in
2007- Marshawn Lynch-RB-CAL: Lynch and his "Beast Mode" mentality took
2006-Donte Whitner-SS-Ohio State: The first pick of the Marv Levy regime may have been the biggest reach of them all. When the Bills drafted Donte Whitner with the eighth overall pick in the ’06 draft a collective sigh of "WHO" rang across Bills nation. Going into the draft it was projected that the Bills would use their first pick to solidify their defensive front, either settling on Brodrick Bunkley or Haloti Ngata. Instead Levy reached for a player he probably could’ve gotten at the end of the first round. Whitner, although noted for his hard-hitting ability, has never shown a propensity for making plays. In his five years with the team Whitner has managed just five interceptions and three forced fumbles and 2010 was the first time he’s completed a full season without significant injury. Depending on what happens with the CBA, Whitner is scheduled to become a free agent and with his contract demands reported around seven million a year, he’s probably played his last game in a Bills uniform.
2006-John McCargo-DT-NC State: Is McCargo even worth mentioning? In his five years as a Buffalo Bill McCargo has managed to play in just half of the 80 possible games. He’s totaled a meager 47 total tackles and 2.5 sacks (all in ’07.) In 2010 he was benched for all but one game. He was forced to play against the Vikings in week 13 because of injuries and managed just one assisted tackle. McCargo’s low point in his NFL career was when he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts before the 2008 trade deadline and returned back to the Bills after he failed a physical. It would be shocking to see McCargo in a Bills uniform when/if the 2011 season begins.
Future Outlook: If this doesn’t paint a picture of why the Buffalo Bills haven’t made the playoffs since the