Buffalo Bills: The 2006 through 2010 NFL Drafts


I chose the year 2006 to start because it is prevailing wisdom that it takes three to five years to truly begin to evaluate a draft class.


First round: Donte Whitner, S, Ohio State and DT John McCargo North Carolina State

3rd round: Ashton Youboty, CB, Ohio State

4th Round: Ko Simpson, S, South Carolina

5th round: Kyle Williams, DT, LSU and Brad Butler, T, Virginia

6th round: Keith Ellison, LB Oregon State

7th round: Terrance Pennington, T  and Aaron merz, G

No Longer on the team: Ko Simpson,

No longer in the NFL: Aaron Merz, Terrance Pennington, Brad Butler

Butler wasn’t a great pick, but he started 31 games for the Buffalo Bills which is a big improvement over a lot of players and he started right up until he retired to get into politics. Seriously.  You could do worse. At least he’s trying to be useful somewhere.

Ko Simpson was a spot starter and quality depth who also happened to be pretty good on special teams for the Bills, but currently is listed as being on the Lions roster. Terrance Pennington and Aaron Merz didn’t really play for the Bills, but few 7th round picks do play long in the N.F.L.  Keith Ellison is also quality depth and a spot starter, but he may not be long for the Bills roster as they look to upgrade their entire defense.  He also seems to constantly battle injuries.

John McCargo was an awful pick. He has one start and has done nothing impactful on the team. He could be released this off-season.

Donte Whitner has been an all right starter for the Buffalo Bills. He’s not one of the best safeties in the league, but he might look a lot better if the Bills had a good pass rush in front of him. We have often seen how improved a secondary can look with a little help from a dominant pass rusher. Whitner makes a lot of tackles for the Bills. He had a 140 last year (you don’t want you safety to have that many tackles). He’s started all but two games since being drafted. Whitner and the team have had a bit of bickering this offseason and it’s even odds whether or not he returns.

The BIG positive form this draft class is the fourth round pick of Kyle Williams, who has quietly become one of the most dominating interior defensive linemen in all of football. He was one of profootballfocus’s highest rated defensive player and he had 5.5 sacks (and no help from the rest of the defense). Whether or not Williams can repeat his excellent performance of this year remains to be seen.

Draft Grade B-

I consider myself a tough grader, but maybe I’m being a bit lenient here. The Williams pick could be considered an A/A+ pick. Whither pick was solid. They got a lot of starts from this draft (Brad Butler had a lot of starts and Keith Ellison, and Youboty have had their fair share of “spot starts”. Still not great, and I think we’ll see it get worse from here.


1st round: Marshawn Lynch, RB, Cal

2nd round: Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State

3rd Round: Trent Edwards, QB, Stanford

4th round: Dwayne Wright, RB, Fresno State

6th round: John Wendling, DB, Wyoming

7th round: Derek Schouman, TE, Boise State and C.J. Ah You DE Oklahoma

No longer in the N.F.L.. Dwayne Wright

No longer on the Bills: C.J. Ah You, John Wendling,  Marshawn Lynch, Trent Edwards, Derek Schouman

Grade: D

So the Bills had 8 draft picks for this draft and four football seasons later ONE is on the team. That’s a terrible ratio. And it’ snot like the Bills let go studs. The Bills were a bad team last year and this is a big reason why. Now the one player they do have “Poz” is a pretty good player. Some will say that he’s overrated and has a lot of empty tackles (151 last year). Others will say he has no help on his defense. Either way, he’s the only one left on the Bills and he’s a free agent (if that ever starts) so he may not be on the Bills next year.


1st round: Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy

2nd round: James Hardy, WR, Indiana

3rd round: Chris Ellis, DE, Va Tech

4th round:Reggie Corner, CB, Akron, and Derek Fine, TE, Kansas

5th round:  Alvin Bowen, LB, Iowa State

6th round: Xavier Omon, RB, Northwest Missouri State

7th round: Demtrius Bell, T, Northwestern-Louisiana State, Steve Johnson, WR, Kentucky, and Kannard Cox, CB, Pittsburgh

No longer on the Bills: James Hardy, Chris Ellis, Kannard Cox, Xavier Omon, Derek Fine

Leodis McKelvin has had an uneven tenure with the Buffalo Bills. He’s explosive and can make some plays, but also has made some bonehead players (most notably trying to return a kick vs the Patriots in a game the Bills almost beat the Patriots…he fumbled the ball and Bills fans were livid and even vandalized his yard).  Hopefully, for the Bills, he’ll have a breakout year this year.

Hardy and Ellis have new homes in the A.F.C. North (Hardy on the Ravens and Ellis on the Steelers). Neither player did much for the Bills.

Reggie Corner is ok defensive depth who has 12 starts in three years and one career interception.

The Bills best two picks were in the 7th round. Bell is the son of former NBA great Karl Malone and a very athletic player. He came into the league very raw and has matrued nicely. This is a pivotal year for Bell if he can make more strides forward he may be the cornerstone LT of the future. A down year and the Bills could look elsewhere for answers. Still, finding your starting LT in the 7th round is great value. The other pick and a goody is WR Steve Johnson. Like in 2006 when the Bills hit it out of the park with Williams the Bills make another huge splash here going to the S.E.C. Johnson is probably best known for his drop in Pittsburgh and subsequently blaming God (though he says that’s not what he was saying) through twitter, but he had a very nice season in his own right. 82 receptions for 1073 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s taken over as the Bills number one WR and one more good season like last year and he could be considered legit.

Draft Grade: C+

There are three starters: McKelvin, Johnson, and Bell. Still though the amount of misses is alarming. No team can have success in the N.F.L with such a high percentage of their draft picks unable to make the team for very long. This draft grade could shoot up if Bell can show he’s the LT of the future. I’m skeptical and thing he’ll have to be replaced though I’m rooting for him. Stevie Johnson has to have another good season before he can be considered anything other than a “one year wonder”. McKelvin hasn’t been the player they hoped they drafted, but he has time to change their opinions.


1st round: Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State and Eric Wood, OL, Louisville

2nd round: Jarius Byrd, S, Oregon, Andy Levitre, G, Oregon State

4th round: Shawn Nelson, TE, Southern Mississippi

5th round: Nic Harris, LB, Oklahoma

6th round: Clay Harris, DB, USC

7th round: Ellis Lankster, DB, WA Viriginia

No longer on the Bills: Ellis Lankster, Clay Harris, Nic Harris

Shawn Nelson has 13 career starts and 20 career catches. He’s not a disappointment yet, but the Bills hoped he could being a dynamic asset to the Tight End position they have sorely lacked. This is a big year for Nelson.

Andy Levitre and Eric Wood could be very solid N.F.L. players. The problem with W0od is that he has had to battle injures and could be hurting for this upcoming season. Whether or not he’ll start the season with the team is a question that needs to be answered.

The Bills made one of the easiest to call blunder in recent draft history when they passed on the supremely talented Brian Orakpo in order to grab a slender Defensive End out of Penn State. The result: Orakpo has become one of the best OLB in the entire league and Aaron Maybin has been labeled by some “the worst draft pick in Bills history” (Brad Andrew of www.buffalowdown.com). That could just be Brad’s anger talking, but Maybin has show nothing yet for the Bills. Terrible pick.

The jury is still out on Byrd. His rookie year  year he exploded with 9 interceptions 11 passes defensed. Last year under a new defensive system he wasn’t able to make enough plays on the football though his other numbers increased. He had nearly twice as many tackles as his rookie year 3 FF and a sack. The Bills hope they can find the right packages to allow him the ability to take away the pass which he does well, while also contributing to the run game a bit.

Draft Grade:C-
The Bills hope they have one of the best young interior OL with Wood and Levitre, but that’s yet to be seen. Byrd made a huge impact his rookie year, but not as much last year. Three players are already off of the Bills roster and Aaron Maybin looks the part of a bust. Perhaps he’ll add some bulk and turn it around this year. Another less than stellar Buffalo Bills draft.


1st round: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson

2nd round: Torrell Troupe, DT, Central Florida

3rd round: Alex Carrington, DL, Arksansas State

4th round: Marcus Easely, WR, Connecticut

5th round: Ed Wang, T, VA Tech

6th round: Arthuor Moats, LB, James Madison, Danny Batten, LB, South Dakota State

7th round: Levi Brown, QB Troy and Kyle Calloway, T, Iowa

Only five players in this draft class appeared in games for the Bills last year. C.J. Spiller showed his explosiveness, but also showed that he needs to learn more patience while running the football. Spiller is a dynamic return man and excellent out of the backfield. Whether or not the Bill should have spent a first round pick on him with so many needs is not the question. Whether or not he can be a good player in the N.F.L is, and the answer is yes. He can still be a Reggie Bush type of player

Ed Wang appeared in 6 games for the Bills.

Troup and Carrington appeared in 24 combined games (9 and 15). Carrington showed some flashes with 2 starts. He has very nice size and the Bills hope that the combination of Troup, Carrington and Dareus will finally give the Bills a top defensive line.

The Big positive surprise has to be Arthur Moats. Moats came on strong last year at the end of the season. He ended the year with 2.5 sacks  and a crushing career ending blow to Brett Favre. Moats showed something as a pass rusher (which is not an easy thing to say about the rest of the Bills players) but still has a ways to go.


Overall Grade C-

The Bills haven’t done a good job of building teams through the draft. Too many of their players don’t make their roster (which is not a roster that is a wining roster right now). And they have really had some painful misses early in the draft. McCargo, Maybin, James Hardy, Marshawn Lynch are just a few of the very high picks who are not contributing on the Bills right now. That’s not good. Hopefully the Bills have learned from their mistakes and we’ll see a much improved Bills team moving forward.