What can we expect from the Bills 2011 draft class?

Now that the 2011 draft is over with, fans are voicing their pleasure/displeasure with their teams draft picks. Also after the draft, fans talk about the potential impact each draft pick could have on their team for the upcoming season. But in reality, not every player contributes the way fans envision that they possible could. Let’s take a look at the Buffalo Bills 2010 draft class and the impact these players had:

1. C.J. Spiller.  Spiller played in 14 games and had the following stats:
Rush: 74 att, 283 yds, 3.8 YPA and 0TDs
Receiving: 24 catches, 157yds, 11.2 YPA, 1 TD
Kick return: 44 att, 1014, 23.0 YPA, 1TD
Punt return: 12 att, 175 yds, 14.6 YPA and 0TDs
In total, Spiller had 1,629 all purpose yards and 2 TDs. While the combined total sounds good for a 1st round pick, the big eye sore was Spiller’s rushing stats. Playing behind Jackson & Lynch to start the season, Spiller did not see much playing time, and when Spiller did see more playing time, Spiller seemed ineffective rushing the ball. Spiller is the type of RB that needs the O-line to open holes and can get him into open space. Spiller has shown flashes during the 2010 season, once he can get into open space, he can be very effective, but getting him into open space turned out to be a big problem for the Bills O-line last season.

2. Torell Troup. Troup played in 15 games and started in 2. Troup had 23 tackles (11total, 12 assist). Troup did not have the impact that the coaches and fans were expecting him to have. Starting out in the 3-4, then the Bills switching back to the 4-3 mid-season was a lot for any rookie to handle. Troup has shown that he will do whatever it takes to succeed, by packing on an additional 15 lbs, to help bulk up and become a more effective NT/DT for the Bills. Let’s see if that will pay off in 2011.

3. Alex Carrington. Carrington played in 9 games in 2010. Carrington was slow to get in the lineup, due to an injury in preseason, plus playing behind Marcus Stroud. In 9 games, Carrington had 8 Tackles (6 total, 2 assist), 1 sack and 1 pass defended. Carrington did not have the impact most were expecting of him, but there’s no reason to get down on him just yet. Carrington showed he is effective in rushing the passer, but needs improvement in defending the run. Before the 2011 draft, most fans thought Carrington would become the starter at DE with Marcus Stroud being released. But after the Bills drafted Marcell Dareus in the 1st round, Carrington looks to be battling Spencer Johnson and Dwan Edwards for playing time.

4. Marcus Easley. At 6’2”, 207lbs, Easley has the build to be NFL ready, but Easley was injured during training camp and missed the entire 2010 season. Easley did look impressive in training camp, but then again, so did Trent Edwards and WR Chad Jackson (both are no longer on the team). So the 2011 season (if there is one) will be Easley’s rookie season.

5. Ed Wang Chung. Wang was injured in pre-season and did not get on the field until later on in the 2010 season. Wang played in 6 games at Guard and did not stand out. Wang is expected to backup Demetrius Bell this season at LT.

6a.  Arthur Moats. Moats started off the season at ILB, but was switched to OLB later on in the season. Moats played in 15 games, started in 4, had 33 tackles (18T, 15A), 2.5 sacks (including one that ended the ironman streak of Brett Favre), 1 PD and 1 FF. Moats had the most impact on the team, compared to the previous 5 draftees. While Moats looked good in pass protection, he needs to get better in defending the run. Otherwise, good late round pick by the Bills.

6b.  Danny Batten. A shoulder injury sidelined Batten during camp for the remainder of the 2010 season. Batten has good size at 6-4, 252lbs and was making plays during camp. Like Easley, the 2011 season will be Batten’s rookie season.

7a. Levi Brown. Brown was one of the pre-season cuts, and then was resigned by the Bills after the team released Capt Checkdown. Brown played in 1 game (the season finale) and had 2 completions on 3 pass attempts, 0 TDs and 1 INT. Brown has a strong arm, but needs a lot of work.

7b. Kyle Calloway. At 6’6”, 323lbs, the Bills were hoping Calloway could backup one of the Guards on the team. Calloway looked lost in training camp and was one of the first cuts.

Out of nine draft picks, only two actually started games (22%); six played in games (67%), two landed on IR (22%), and one player did not make the team (11%). Those nine players combined to play in 60 games out of a total combined 144 (42%). Injury affected playing time of three during the season (33%) Spiller, Carrington and Wang. By looking at those stats, it shows that the Bills 2010 draft class did not have much of an impact. (These stats do not include UDFA’s). Let’s take a look at the UDFA’s and see if they improved the 2010 draft class stats.

David Nelson: 15GP, 3 GS, 31 rec, 353 yds, 11.4 YPA and 3TDs.
Antonio Coleman: 8GP, 12T (7T, 5A)
Donald Jones: 15GP, 5GS, 18rec, 213 yds, 11.8 YPA and 1 TD.
Naaman Roosevelt: 6GP, 1 GS, 9 rec, 139 yds, 15.4 YPA, 0TD.

With those four UDFA’s, here’s what the stats would like: Players that started in games: Five (38%); Players that played in games: Nine (69%); Games played 104 out of 208 (50%).

Does this mean that the 2011 draft class will experience the same numbers as the 2010 draft class? No, every year is different. But this year presents a different problem. With the NFL and the former NFLPA battling it out for a new CBA and with the current lock out going on, this affects all non-playoff teams that rely on the draft picks to make an impact. With the rookies not being able to attend any rookie camps, OTA’s, mini-camp and training camp, this severely hampers the development of all Bills rookies.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

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