Including this past weekend's 2014 NFL Draft, the Bills have had five second-round picks in the past four years. The first four were all major contributors (and in every case, productive ones) to the 2013 Bills.
|Year||Rd||#||Player||Pos.||College||'13 reps||'13 stats|
|2011||2||34||Aaron Williams||DB||Texas||926 (80.9%)||82 tackles, 4 INT, 1 FF|
|2012||2||41||Cordy Glenn||OT||Georgia||1,161 (100.0%)||1.5 sacks allowed|
|2013||2||41||Robert Woods||WR||USC||910 (78.4%)||40 receptions, 587 yards, 3 TD|
|2013||2||46||Kiko Alonso||LB||Oregon||1,145 (100.0%)||159 tackles, 4 INT, 2 FR, 1 FF|
Glenn and Alonso were already mainstays. Williams' importance increased this offseason with the free agent departure of Jairus Byrd; with a new four-year, $26 million contract in hand, Williams is now the top safety on the depth chart. Woods, meanwhile, was overshadowed at receiver a year ago and will continue to be with Sammy Watkins in town, but he has the look of a long-term starter that should grow more productive in his second season.
Kouandjio, the No. 44 overall pick last Friday out of Alabama, will undoubtedly slide into the starting lineup in place of Erik Pears, who like Glenn played all 1,161 snaps of offense for the Bills last season. He is a major talent upgrade at the position, and will be in line for a similar amount of playing time assuming he can stay healthy.
Buffalo's first-round picks get most of the press - in that same time frame, Marcell Dareus, Stephon Gilmore, EJ Manuel and Watkins have become key building blocks, as well - but it's worth recognizing that the team has found not only strong contributors, but very talented football players in the second round for four years running. These five players - Williams, Glenn, Woods, Alonso and now Kouandjio - are already key figures in the team's perceived final push through a rebuilding effort, and will likely continue to be major factors for the organization for a long time.