FanPost

Building through the Draft - The Lines


Greetings, fellow Rumblers. As we near the 2012 NFL draft, the thinking of the fans has shifted substantially on who (or what position) the Bills are likely to fill with the 10th pick of this year's draft. First we were pretty much unanimous on Courtney Upshaw, now the thinking has shifted to either drafting Michael Floyd or Jonathan Martin.

I think the key for Chix in their third year, is to show meaningful progress in the win column, and getting to the playoffs in this year. In order to do that, a substantial improvement, such as the 49ers turnaround last year, will be required. But what is the path to that turnaround?

Looking back at some of the most improved teams of the past may help us to identify trends that contribute to the building of a successful turnaround through the draft.

Most Improved Teams - Season over Season
Year Team + Wins First Round Pick Position
2011 49ers 7 Aldon Smith DE
2010 Bucs 7 Gerald McCoy DT
2009 Bengals 6 Andre Smith OT
2008 Dolphins 10 Jake Long OT
2007 Browns 6 Joe Thomas OT
2006 Ravens / Saints 7 Haloti Ngata / Reggie Bush DT / RB
2005 Bucs 6 Carnell Williams RB
2004 Steelers 9 Ben Roethlisberger QB
2003 Bengals 6 Carson Palmer QB
2002 Panthers 6 Julius Peppers DE
2001 Bears 8 David Terell WR
2000 Saints 7 N/A

Note that in the last 6 years, the team that showed the strongest improvement picked either an offensive lineman or a defensive lineman with their first pick. The most frequently chosen position is OT, with 3 teams, followed by QB, RB, DE and DT with 2 each.

I was kind of surprised to see that WR were not a significant factor with the league becoming so dependent on that position to generate offense.

While it's true that draft choices are not always the major factor in the team's improvement, in many cases, they can contribute to the kind of turnaround the Bills are looking for. Therefore, it would stand to reason that the Bills would have to look at the lines, and in particular the O-line, to be succcessful in orchestrating that turnaround.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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