Bills 2009 NFL Draft Class Taking Hits, Too

FOXBORO MA - SEPTEMBER 26: Steve Johnson #13 of the Buffalo Bills is congratulated by teammate Andy Levitre #67 after Johnson a touchdown against the New England Patriots during on September 26 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Bills 38-30. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Andy Levitre has not yet been benched as the left guard of the Buffalo Bills, but his splitting reps with Chad Rinehart is the latest blow to a 2009 NFL Draft class in Buffalo that no longer looks remotely as promising as it once did.

That degradation fits the theme of recent seasons. Just one of nine players drafted in 2006 - nose guard Kyle Williams - remains with the team. All seven of the players drafted in 2007 are gone. Just four of 10 picked in 2008 remain (Leodis McKelvin, Reggie Corner, Demetrius Bell and Stevie Johnson).

Of the eight players the team drafted in 2009 - and we're talking about players entering only their third year, mind you - half are already gone. Aaron Maybin's recent exodus was predated by the departures of Nic Harris, Cary Harris and Ellis Lankster a year ago.

Eric Wood has by far the most job security of any '09 Bills draftee, as he's entrenched as the team's starting center. Jairus Byrd has a spot locked up as well, but is coming off of a down sophomore season. Fourth-round pick Shawn Nelson can't stay healthy, and may get cut. Add in Levitre's semi-demotion, and all of a sudden, this draft class looks to be the latest in a long line of weak draft years for Buffalo.

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