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|
|2006||Ravens / Saints||7||Haloti Ngata / Reggie Bush||DT / RB|
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.