So I was called out for declaring the tenure of Buddy Nix a failure after 3 years yesterday. Most of the negativity toward the post came from the draft pick argument that was made. I was asked to provide analysis from other teams not just the Bills. While the draft is just 1 part of a GM’s job, I decided to go back and compare the Bills to the 4 remaining playoff teams (I did not have the time to provide info on all 32 teams). Most of my information was taken from the Pro football focus website. They have a section in the archives that deals with the analysis of all 32 teams (2008-2010 drafts). I added in the 2011 draft because their analysis was conducted in April of 2012.
I provided the names of players deemed to have been hits. There are many other players that are considered role players or busts but I don’t want this to turn into war and peace.
Navarro Bowman lb 91st 2010, Mike Iupati OL 17th 2010, DE Aldon Smith 7th 2011 and QB C. Kaepernick (36th 2011). There are other productive players such as Crabtree that have been drafted but most are considered role players or did not live up to expectations. The list is short, but SF hit home runs on the 4 players mentioned.
Matt Ryan QB 3rd 2008, Curtis Lofton LB 37th 2008, Sean Weatherspoon LB 19th 2010, Julio Jones WR 6th 2011, Jacqizz Rogers RB 158 – 2011. Again the list is not long but Atlanta hit home runs on the Ryan and Jones combo.
Ladarius Webb CB 88th – 2009, Joe Flacco QB 18th 2008, Ray Rice RB 55th 2008, Dennis Pitta TE 114th 2010, Paul Krueger DE 57th 2009, Jimmy Smith CB 27th 2011, Torrey Smith WR 58th 2011 and Michael Oher OT 23rd 2009. The list is longer for the Ravens and the most important picks have been Rice and Flacco.
Rob Gronkowski TE 42nd 2010, Aaron Hernandez TE 113th 2010, Brandon Spikes LB 62nd 2010, Sebastian Vollmer OT 58th 2009, Jerod Mayo LB 10th 2008, Devin McCourty CB 27th 2010, Nate Soldier OT 17th 2011, Shane Vareen RB 56th 2011, Stevan Ridley RB 73rd 2011. Again the list is longer with some very solid players.
From Nix era: CJ Spiller RB 9th 2010, M. Dareus 3rd 2011, D. Searcy 100th 2011 and A. Carrington 72nd 2010. Only 1 homerun so far in the Spiller pick.
Previous regime: S. Johnson 224th 2008, J. Byrd 42nd 2009, A. Levitre 51st 2009, E. Wood 28th 2009 and D. Bell 219th 2008. Certainly more production has come from the previous regime, however they have the advantage of time on their side for player development.
In sum, my complaints about Nix and the draft were not enough bang for the buck (he has had 3 top 10 picks and high 2nd and 3rd round selections). Also, I asked where are his late round gems? The previous regime had several and the drafts with Nix have been lacking in that department. What do the final 4 teams have? Well 3 of the 4 hit on QB’s and the Patriots have had Brady. That is probably the biggest difference. Unfortunately, with all the draft picks Nix has had the past 3 years he found it acceptable to utilize only one 7th rd pick on a QB. And I think Bills fans would feel better if Nix had made better selections in rds 2-4 in lieu of taking a QB. Unfortunately, those picks have been lackluster to say the least. Nix made no bones about stating the draft would be the most important part of building the Bills and he was advertised as a draft guru. Thus far, I just don’t see how he has distinguished himself as a top notch drafter. Lack of foresight on his part has put the Bills in a tough spot. Fans want a QB desperately that can compete with the other franchise quarterbacks. The pressure is on now and this draft appears to lack any elite top 5 pick worthy qb’s. There are a bunch of solid prospects but it will be no easy task finding a franchise qb this year. Let’s just hope the organization does not force a top qb pick just to say we “got one".
I agree. But, to be honest with you, I think Nix is going to retire/leave at the end of this draft. It seems as if all signs are pointing towards that conclusion. Not only that, we still need to see how these players can live up with a newer, what looks to be a better, coaching staff. Chan and his staff simply could not coach most of these players successfully. Wait and see what happens.
Nix's regime gave Stevie Johnson the chance though...Bell is gone.
Searcy is gonna be battling for a spot for SS. Perhaps Aaron Williams can find his game at safety? I think AW can be a very solid SS. He has the Size, good tackling, hard hitting, and coverage abilities needed for a SS especially since he has some of that CB background. So he's not a complete failure yet.
Dareus is a good pick and gets a decent amount of sacks for a DT. Was just a shady year for him.
Carrington played pretty well with the chances he got this year and blocked 4 FGs....
Da'Rick got cut and was given less chances than Chris Hogan....No comment.
Hopefully the Bills can carry my casket at my funeral so they can let me down one last time.
The general consensus around here is that our coaches sucked and didn't get the most out of their players...Flip side, the Harbaughs and Hoodie are regarded as some of the best coaches in the NFL.
Drafting players is only part of the equation...developing them and putting them in positions to succeed is just as important, if not more so. So not sure this is really an apt comparison when trying to judge Buddy Nix...the bills, maybe, but not Nix.
Well this is really unfair... You should do this with players drafting while Nix was at the helm so from 2010 and 2011.... Comparing Nix's drafts to players he never had a shot at drafting is really unfair...
I personally just do not care what ya think
Woods, Williams and Watkins.... the 3 double U's
Made in USA NFL gear...
You may think it is unfair, but I was asked to provide a draft comparison from other NFL organizations. It is hard to go back just 2 years. Plus, we get an idea of what Modrak and company drafts look in comparison to Nix and his drafts. Again, Modrak has more time on his side but it is still interesting to compare.
spiller, troup, carrington
dareus, williams, shep
gilmore, glenn, graham
looking at these names, it's hard to argue with nix's thinking in the draft. that's 9 players that could/should be starters. obviously, the jury is still out on some...
looking back though,
subsitute kap. for williams
wilson for graham
then i would say nix drafted A+, since he didn't i'll give him a B/B+
the thing to remember is nix has stated he is not interested in swinging and missing on a qb
has he missed ? yes. has he swung? no, however if he hits a home run at the qb position this year or next, all should be gravy in terms of his drafting.
Overall, I think his drafts have been a C+. If the 2012 class comes together as expected, that grade could easily go into the B range. The F Nix gets for Gailey is what brings him down.
obviously the gailey hire deserves a low mark, however when you are looking at a test that looks like :
who should i hire ?
he should score better than an 'f' mark when these are about the only 2 options that were available to him
What we want is for Nix to take more chances, but only as long as they all result in homeruns. Am I right?
When the Bills hired Jauron and Gailey, the team's misfortunes were 100% predictable. At least Marrone has a chance to succeed.