NOTE: As Gpluehri pointed out to me, I entirely forgot about the Bills 2000 first round draft pick Erik Flowers. He has now been added to the article and the poll. The previous poll has been deleted (it only had about 10 votes when I wrote this) and has been replace with a new one.
About a two and a half months ago MattRichWarrenpresented us with his Buffalo Bills 2000s All-Decade Team series. And for about a month we voted on a series of poles to determine who was worthy of being on that team. But more often than not we also ended up complaining over
the limited sometimes horrible talent that we had to pick from for any given position. So it was about at the TE position that I thought "hey why don't we also vote on the worst players that played for this team over the last decade?" And so here we are.
Now just like MattRichWarren'sseries I have a few criteria for players to be eligible for this team. They had to have played in at least a full season's worth of games in this decade to be eligible. Starting is not requirement, but you do have to have played significant amounts of snaps in those games. That means that, for example, the Bills 3rd receiver might make the list, but a 4th or 5th stringer wont be considered. That means that we wont end up voting for 7th rounders that ended up playing 2 snaps. These are going to be real players that played real roles on this team over the last ten years. And just because a player ended up on the All-Decade team does not mean that you can't also be on the worst-decade team.
Alright, we've just been introduced to the DT Duo of McCargo and Tripplett, now we just need to find out who will play on the outside of them. The one thing that we can say about Buffalo's DE corps is that we've incredible continuity at this position over the last decade, having Aaron Schobel, Chris Kelsey and Ryan Denney on this team for the most of the decade, and only a few other players of note behind them, so this list will be a short one to choose from. I still managed to find 5 names to go on it though.
The Bills first round draft pick, 26th overall, in 2000, Flowers only played 2 seasons for the Bills and could easily be considered the bills worst draft flop of the decade if Mike Williams hadn't come around. In Flowers' 2 seasons with the Bills he played in 31 games, starting in 6 of them. He had a total of 41 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 INT, and 1 forced fumble. The Bills released Flowers at the end of the 2001 season and he signed on with the expansion Houston Texans, where he couldn't even muster a start and only registered 1 tackle assist in 16 games played.
A sixth round pick of the Bucs in the 1993 draft, Ahanotu signed with the Bills signed with the Bills in 2002 to play opposite Aaron Schobel. He only stayed one year in Buffalo, playing in all 16 games and starting 14 of them. In that year he had 44 total tackles, 5 sacks and 1 fumble recovery. He was released by the Bills at the end of the 2002 season and went on to play 2 last seasons in the NFL, splitting time between the 49er's, the Dolphinsand the Bucs.
A second round draft pick of the Bills in the 2002 draft, Denney was a mainstay on the Bills D (as either the starter, or the top reserve for either DE position) for 8 seasons. So far Denney has played his entire 8 year career with the Bills, playing in 111 games and starting 31 of them. In his time here ha has amassed a total of 296 tackles, 23.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries and 20 passes defended. The Bills let Denney walk at the start of this off season realizing that there was no place for his style of play, or his mediocrity, in the change to the new 3-4. Denney is currently a UFA and is still looking for a new team to play for.
Another second round draft pick, this time in 2003, Kelsey has been the starting Left End for the Bills for the last 6 seasons. While he has been somewhat adequate opposite Aaron Schobel, he has also proven to be incredibly underwhelming as a player. In his 7 seasons with the Bills Kelsey has appeared in 110 games, stating in 88 of them. He has a total of 315 tackles, 22 sacks, 3 Interceptions (including one rather sweet tip and catch for a touchdown against the Cowboys), 5 forced fumbles, 6 fumble recoveries and 16 passes defended. He's currently slated to be our starting Strong Side OLB in the new 3-4... someone help us.
A third round pick of the Ramsin the 2004 draft, Hargrove spent parts of 2 seasons (2006 and 2007) in Buffalo. Expected to be the Bills new top reserve at DE, Hargrove only played in 22 games for the Bills, not starting any of them. He had a total of 47 tackles and 2.5 sacks in those games. Hargrove was released by the Bills in the 2007 season after he once again fell into trouble with substance abuse. In what may be considered a feel-good story, Hargrove took the 2008 season off to concentrate on getting his life back together and signed with the New Orleans Saints before the start of the 2009 season, where he was a key contributor to the defensive line of the Super Bowl winning Saints .
Last year's 11th overall pick, Maybin has been largely absent so far in his NFL career. And while I did not want to include him on this list, mostly because I do not think that the majority of his shortcomings can be blamed on him, I have the feeling that I'd start something that I don't want to see by not including him. Plus statistical, he belongs here. So here we go, Maybin has played in 16 games for the Bills, not starting any of them. He has a total of 16 tackles, no sacks and 1 forced fumble. He is slated to be the Bills starter as the Weak Side OLB in the new 3-4, where almost everyone agrees he is much more suited to play and should be much more successful.
Alright now that the list is up, it's time for you guys to go vote in what will surely be Kurupt's favorite poll of this series.
Which Bills DE has been the worst of the last decade?
Erik Flowers (127 votes)
Chici Ahanotu (6 votes)
Ryan Denney (7 votes)
Chris Kelsay (9 votes)
Anthony Hargrove (3 votes)
Aaron Maybin (14 votes)
166 total votes