From the day he was hired as General Manager of the Buffalo Bills, Buddy Nix has insisted that he'll build his team primarily through the draft. Two full off-seasons into his tenure, he has lived up to his own expectations, as the Bills have made 19 rookie acquisitions in that time frame that currently reside on the 53-man roster.
14 of those 19 rookies brought in over the past two years were draft picks - but "building through the draft" does not limit Nix to merely working with draft picks. Five more rookies have been acquired in other ways. Three were undrafted free agents (receivers Donald Jones and David Nelson, as well as rush linebacker Robert Eddins). One was a waiver-wire acquisition (tight end Lee Smith), and another was a late-season signing off of another team's practice squad (end Kellen Heard).
When, after two years, over a third of your opening day roster is comprised of rookie acquisitions, your GM is building through the draft. However, Nix has also been nearly as busy making veteran acquisitions, too.
Nix has imported 33 new players onto his current 53-man roster over the last two years, and 14 of those players were veteran acquisitions. A whopping three of those players were waiver claims, with Nix bringing in tackle Sam Young, guard Kraig Urbik and rush linebacker Shawne Merriman through that process. Two more (tight end Scott Chandler and guard Colin Brown) were signings off of another team's practice squad, leaving nine players acquired through normal free agency.
Here's a quick breakdown of the 33 players Nix has imported in two years as the Bills' GM.
|Rookie Acquisitions (19)||Veteran Acquisitions (14)|
|RB C.J. Spiller||QB Tyler Thigpen|
|RB Johnny White||QB Brad Smith|
|WR Donald Jones||TE Scott Chandler|
|WR David Nelson||TE David Martin|
|WR Marcus Easley||OT Erik Pears|
|TE Lee Smith||OT Sam Young|
|OT Chris Hairston||OG Kraig Urbik|
|DE Marcell Dareus||OG Chad Rinehart|
|DE Kellen Heard||OG Colin Brown|
|NT Torell Troup||DE Dwan Edwards|
|OLB Alex Carrington||OLB Shawne Merriman|
|OLB Danny Batten||ILB Nick Barnett|
|OLB Robert Eddins||ILB Andra Davis|
|ILB Kelvin Sheppard||ILB Kirk Morrison|
|ILB Arthur Moats|
|ILB Chris White|
|CB Aaron Williams|
|CB Justin Rogers|
|S Da'Norris Searcy|