Kurupt reminded us that Brian wanted the Bills to select the recently released TE Martin Rucker at #11 in 2008. (Kurupt didn't mention that both he and Brian seemed to think highly of Gholston, so hindsight is clearly better than foresight.) The mock draft that Brian had posted early in 2008 got me thinking about that actual draft class. That, in turn, got me wondering about the 4 drafts of the Jauron era.
Yeah, it's too early to call a player a bust after just a season or two. However, any player selected who couldn't crack Buffalo's roster--or stick after initally making it--represents a wasted pick. I'm not trying to argue the merits of any particular player at this point, merely listing who remains from those drafts.
Survivors: Donte Whitner, John McCargo, Ashton Youboty, Kyle Williams, Keith Ellison, Marshawn Lynch, Paul Posluszny, Trent Edwards, Leodis McKelvin, Chris Ellis, Reggie Corner, Demetrius Bell, Steve Johnson, Aaron Maybin, Eric Wood, Andy Levitre, Jairus Byrd, Shawn Nelson, Cary Harris
Roadkill: Ko Simpson, Brad Butler, Terrence Pennington, Aaron Merz, Dwayne Wright, John Wendling, Derek Schouman, CJ Ah You, James Hardy, Derek Fine, Alvin Bowen, Xavier Omon, Kennard Cox, Nic Harris, Ellis Lankster
(Buffalo tried to get rid of McCargo via trade to Indy and Butler's departure couldn't have been reasonably foreseen.)
It wasn't as grim as I had originally thought. 19 players taken in the Jauronian Era made the cut in 2010 while 14 have fallen by the wayside. Most of those 14 were selected in the later rounds of the draft. James Hardy represents the single biggest miss of the Jauronian Era. the jury, of course, is still out on many players: Edwards won't be back in 2011 unless he has a good 2010. McCargo may be in the same boat. Meanwhile, Harris, Bell, Youboty and Nelson aren't exactly locks for 2011. Even if all of those guys got the old Spanish Archer 13 of Jauron's picks would have survived--roughly 3 per each draft class. I'm guessing that's probably something close to the NFL average.
No, it doesn't redeem the stink of failure from the four years that we endured Jauron's facial tick filled press conferences. It seems, however, that Jauron was able to pick players who at least had the ability to stick on Buffalo's roster even after his tenure was over.