Saturday, April 24, 2010
Wrapping up the Draft
SUPER BOWL! SUPER BOWL! SUPER BOWL! Yesssssssss!!!! The Bills drafted a quarterback from Troy! You thought Steve Young and Joe Montana was a quarterback competition? You ain't seen nothing yet! OK, so the Bills didn't really address their quarterback need this weekend. However, I still stand by my comments that this is a rebuilding stage for the Bills. It's going to take years for this team to get better. There's no need for the Bills to reach for a position if they don't think that pick can be an outstanding player. If the Bills didn't feel the draft had a legit franchise quarterback, it's a smart move for them to wait until next year's class.
Now, are the Bills better than last year's team? Well, if you think Chan Gailey is a way better coach than Dick Jauron, then they should be. Personally, I think they are less than a 6-win team. It's going to take time for the defense to transition into a 3-4. Even with the addition of Spiller, the offense is still going to lack quarterback play, a second wide receiver and a left tackle. In Gailey we trust? Not with this bunch. At least not yet.
Now, if you're a smart football fan, you have to realize this isn't going to turn around right away. It's going to take years. I have no clue if any of these draft picks are going to be hits. Some GM's/scouts say that a successful draft consists of having 3-4 players make the transition to the pro game. Like I've said, it's going to take 2-3 years to find out whether Buddy Nix's draft class is going to be successful. On the surface, it would seem as if the Bills addressed their needs on the defensive side of the ball. They found their fat guy in the middle of their defense and acquired depth at defensive end and outside linebacker. It also sets-up the team to go full blown for offense in the 2011 draft.
Of course, it should be noted that Tom Modrak is still the guy in charge of the college portion of the draft. Yes, the same guy who was involved in the drafting the likes of JP Losman, Mike Williams, John McCargo, Marshawn Lynch and Donte Whitner. Honestly, Modrak should have been fired at least 2 or 3 different times. Now to be fair, if the Bills get any sort of production out of Aaron Maybin this year, Modrak will have hit a home run (OK, more like a triple) with his 2009 Draft Class.
As for this year's class, I think you have to give the Bills a grade of....F#$K THAT! Haven't you been listening to me over the last month? I'm not giving grades a day after the draft eneds. I'll say this, if the Bills hit on their first 3 or 4 picks, they won't have to worry about their front 7 for a long time.
Look, draft weekend is all about hope. It's a great weekend for football and its fans. However, in the short-term, the majority of the players chosen this weekend aren't going to put their teams over the hump the first year.
--I have mentioned this before, but it bares repeating; The Bills may not have been interested in drafting a left tackle because if that player becomes a franchise guy or even a decent tackle, you're going to have to pay him 10 million dollars a year. That's the going rate for that position. The Bills didn't want to pay that to Jason Peters, so what makes you think they would change their mind for another player?--
--Speaking of Jason Peters, it looks as if the Bills are going to try and make Ed Wang into a special project at left tackle. Nix characterised Wang as still being "developed." I'm sure some naive fans will be pointing at Peters development for a reason to believe in Wang and for that matter, Demetrius Bell. We should only be that lucky. But hey, Ralph Wilson always talks about having a lot of luck to succeed in the NFL--
--Mark my words; Marcus Stroud and Chris Kelsay will NOT make it past training camp. Right now, the Bills have a ton of depth with their front seven. I can't even wrap my head around their three-man front rotation. Same goes for the linebacking core (with or without Schobel). The Bills may be inclined to just say f#$k it and start from scratch with their front seven. Hey, the Bills decided to cut Langston Walker (overpaid) 10 days before the season opener and started a guy that never played a down in the NFL. Plus, I don't really think Stroud and Kelsay are worth the money they are getting paid, and we all know the Bills aren't shy about cutting salary--
--You really can't say the Bills reached for Torrell Troup. Yes, some mock drafts had him going in the third round, but they were still a number of nose tackles available like Terrence Cody. By Buffalo's account, they got the best NT off their board at that time--
--The more I think about it, the more I still don't like the AJ Spiller pick. Buddy Nix spoke very highly of Spiller's return game. Um, I thought the Bills have like the greatest returners in NFL history on their roster? Besides McKelvin's mishap against the Patriots, the guy's more than an adequate kickoff specialist. Plus, if Roscoe Parrish can get his head on straight, the bills will still have a decent return game--
--Look, I think Spiller can be a big time play-maker. However, for Ralph Wilson and the Bills hire-ups to make him out to be a franchise back is a little bit flawed. He's carried the ball more than 150 times just once in his four-year career at Clemson. Judging by his size, he doesn't seem like the type of back that you can give the ball to 25-30 times a game. Yes, I know, he can do other things. However, for the Bills to use a pick that high on a running back that seems to be better served in a running back by committee setting or a change of pace style is a little too high for me--
--Marcus Easley could very easily be the Bills 3rd wide receiver on opening day. You never know what the Bills will do with Roscoe Parrish, whose been on the trade block since last year. Plus, Stevie Johnson and James Hardy still have a lot prove. Hell, Easley could crack the starting line-up. OK, I doubt that, but he'll get some playing time. Easley's game seems to be running after the catch and catching balls over the middle. That's something that was going to be missed with T.O. and Josh Reed gone from the roster--
--I have to give the Bills credit for at least drafting guys to fit in their 3-4 scheme. There was no way they could have undersized Kyle Williams as their starting nose tackle and a bunch of 30 year-old converted outside linebackers. The foundation of their defense has been set by youth--
--We could find out very shortly if the Bills whiffed on not picking Jimmy Clausen. Matt Moore? You would think that a guy touted to be a top 10 pick by some experts; would be able to jump over Moore on the depth chart. I know Clausen must not be happy going in the 2nd round, as it's going to kill his rookie contract. However, he's going into a nice situation with Carolina. The Panthers still have Steve Smith, whose a top 10 wide receiver. They also have a great 1-2 punch in Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams at running back. Their line only gave up 33 sacks last year. If success is Clausen's ultimate goal, he should be a lot happier than Sam Bradford--
--Now to Marshawn Lynch. I know most fans would love to tar and feather him and then drive him to Parts Unknown to get him out of a Bills uniform. However, if the Bills can't get anything for him, why not just hold onto him and wait for a team whose starting running back might go down with an injury? What if the Adrian Peterson goes down with an injury? Don't you think the Vikings would be desperate if their workhorse missed two months? Honestly, is it really going to bother you to see Lynch in a Bills uniform next year? I mean there are bigger fish to fry with this football team than to worry about Lynch being the 3rd string running back--
--I'll leave you with you some optimism. San Diego's first draft pick under Buddy Nix/John Butler/AJ Smith was LaDainian Tomlinson. They decided to build their team around LT, which worked out. Of course, the Chargers didn't get to the playoffs until three years later, when Drew Brees threw for 27 touchdowns. Sorry, but I don't think Trent Edwards is going to eclipse that--
--OK, here's another optimistic comment to leave you. I know the thought of having Brohm, Fitzpatrick and Edwards fighting over the starting job makes all of us sick. But, it should be noted that it's a lot better for a rookie quarterback to walk into a situation where he has more of a complete team surrounding him.
One of the reasons David Carr and Tim Couch failed in the NFL was because they went to expansion teams that didn't have much of a supporting cast. Those two guys were doomed from the start and could never recover from it. Guys like Mark Sanchez, Phillip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco walked into situations where they had great talent on both sides of the ball and succeeded because of that. In the end, maybe it's better for the Bills to build their team in other areas and then have the quarterback position be the icing on the cake--
--Now, I'll say this; I'm more disappointed in the Bills not addressing left tackle than a quarterback. I thought having Bryan Bulaga playing next to Eric Wood would have been an ideal situation for the next 10 years. Take Mike Williams out of the equation, and it's pretty fair to say that there's a better success rate to draft offensive lineman than quarterbacks in the first round--
--Winners for the Bills draft: Trent Edwards and Demetrius Bell. Sorry, but those two guys are starting against Miami--
--Losers for the Bills draft: Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch. Get ready to carry the ball 5-7 times a game or fill the Gatorade buckets--
--Lastly, I mentioned this during my Top 5 reasons the Bills will not draft Jimmy Clausen column. By all reports, Ralph Wilson was very high on drafting Trent Edwards in 2007. History shows that if Wilson likes you, he's keeping you around (See: Tom Modrak). He may just think that Edwards needs a legit quarterback coach to steer his career back on track--