The Buffalo Bills have drafted a total of 75 players between the years 2000-2008. Take a guess how many of those 75 players are currently on the active roster? A mere 16 remain. When most teams build through the draft, the Bills have a dismal record of drafting during that time.
The Bills abysmal track record of selecting players has hampered the team on the field. Their nine-year playoff drought is directly linked to misled drafts. Take the 2000 NFL Draft for example. The Bills selected a total of eight players. Those players made a collective 35 starts for the Bills.
How do the Bills expect to be competitive in the National Football League? The players that are drafted either fail to make an impact, or just weren't that good to begin with.
I remember watching the 2000 NFL Draft. Anxiously awaiting the Bills pick, I wondered what the Bills were going to do. Their needs were plentiful: quarterback, running back, wide receiver, etc. They ended up choosing Erik Flowers, who had a less than stellar career, making six starts for the Bills. Fans had dreams of the next Bruce Smith, but ended up with five career sacks.
Tom Brady became the real gem of the 2000 NFL draft. The Bills, along with every other NFL team, had multiple chances to pick him, but decided against it. To this day, no one knows why. The Bills certainly could use a future Hall of Fame quarterback right now.
Another infamous draft in recent Bills history is the 2002 NFL Draft. The Bills, coming off of a 3-13 season in 2001, had countless needs. The Bills, as always, had many holes to fill. Offensive line, seen as a strength going into the draft, was perceived as a potential target the Bills would attempt to placate.
They set their sights on the mammoth left tackle Mike D. Williams from the University of Texas. After earning All-Big 12 and All-American honors, the quarterbacks blind side would surely be protected, right?
Williams never showed the dedication required to play arguably the most important position aside from quarterback in the NFL. He was moved to right tackle, but the results were just as bad.
When a team fails to land an impact player when selecting No. 4 overall, it will undoubtedly set the team back several years. Heck, the Bills are still trying to assemble an offensive line as I type this. They are starting two rookies, a guy they cut before the season began, a practice squad player, and someone who was a backup with the Carolina Panthers.
Without a doubt, the missteps of those two aforementioned drafts handcuffed the team, far beyond what words can describe. When in 2002 you could have had Dwight Freeney or Ed Reed, someone dropped the ball on that one.
Despite the poor drafts, Bills fans continue to flock to the games year after year. Come on, we haven't made the playoffs since 1999. Three consecutive 7-9 seasons earned head coach Dick Jauron a three-year contract extension.
As Halloween approaches, many people will be watching scary movies and going to haunted houses. I say if you want to be scared, watch the Bills on Sunday afternoons in the fall.
You will run screaming out of the room in horror at what your eyes witness on the TV-screen.
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