Grading the 2011 draft after 3 years

I hate people trying to grade a draft before any of the rookies play a meaningful down. Usually it takes about three years to determine whether or not the draft class was successful, and annalists know it too, yet they keep doing it. The only way I think you can really rank a draft over another teams draft, is looking at if a team reached for players or if they got good value at where they got their players, and even this is flawed thinking because if that player you "reached" for turns out to be a good player, then it won't be considered a reach any more, and all the media members that ripped into that team for that pick will "forget" what they said and not mention how they totally missed that pick and praise that team later on.

Anyways, it's been three years for the Bills' 2011 draft, and now is the time, in my opinion, that you can rate and grade drafts.

Marcell Dareus, DT, ALABAMA

Grade: A-

While Dareus has yet to achieve a level of dominance that was expected when he was drafted, he has been one of the better DTs in the NFL. He had a solid rookie year racking up 43 Tackles, 32 solo, 5.5sacks, and 2 PD. He followed it up with a less than stellar year in which he regressed from his rookie year, getting only 39 Tackles, 26 Solo, 5.5 sacks, and 6PD. His last year was his best year, getting 71 Tackles, 46 solo, 7.5 sacks, and 3 PD, earning himself a spot to the pro-bowl. Things have come up that have stunted Dareus' growth, but it finally looked like he put it together last year.

Aaron Williams, CB/S, Texas

Grade: B

Williams struggled as a corner his first two years starting only 6 games in 2011 and 10 in 2012, according to In those first two years he gathered 64 tackles ( 32 in both years), 51 solo (24 one year, 27 the other) 12 PD (5 one year, 7 the other) , and 1 INT ( 2011). Then when many people were about to give him the bust label, including myself, he switched over to SS at which he had his best year as an NFL player. He rejuvenated his career, racking up 82 Tackles, 60 Solo, 11 PD, and 4 INT. Williams looked to be a missed pick, but has since proven other wise. Lets hope he keeps it up.

Kelvin Sheppard, ILB, LSU

Grade: C-

Sheppard showed promise as a rookie against the run, but struggled in coverage, thus leading to his trading because of his lack of versatility. His first year he put decent numbers for a LB with 70 Tackles, 46 Solo, 1 PD, and 1 Saftey. His next year was very much lateral getting only 10 more solo tackles, and 1 sack more than the previous year. Sheppard's 3rd year he was traded to the Colts straight up for Jerry Hughes, who had a bit more of an impact then Sheppard.

Da'Norris Searcy, S/LB, N.C.

Grade: C+

Searcy is one of those players who are caught between to positions. He'd probably be a LB if he was bigger, but he doesn't really have the makeup to be a coverage S. So he is generally put as an in-the-box-safety, where his skills can be put to the best of use. His rookie year was nothing big with 34 tackles, 26 solo, 1 PD, and 1INT. His second year was very much the same with only 39 Tackles, 26 Solo, and 1PD. His third, like many others on this list, was his best year, with 71 Tackles, 48 solo, 7PD, 1INT, and 3.5 sacks. His versatility was put to great use in Pettine's defense and he stepped his play up when he got the shot.

Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson

Grade: D+

Hairston had a solid rookie year starting 7 games in which he played well, but ever since that season he has been cursed with injuries and medical issues galore. His second season he was barely able to make it through with only 8 games played, some of which he didn't finish. In his third season, in which he was expected to make a big comeback, he was put on the IR with a non-football related illness and wasn't heard from again.

Johnny White, RB, N.C.

Grade: F+ (the plus is to make Johnny feel better)

White never saw the field all that much due to a crowded backfield in Buffalo, collecting only 20 Carries for 76 yards over the 1 1/2 seasons he was with the Bills. He stuck with the Packers for about 4 games until they cut him the in the same season. This was a miss by Nix.

Chris White, LB, Mississippi St.

Grade: D

White had an injury his rookie year and he never got the chance to prove himself . His second year he would stay as the #3 guy on the depth chart and never really play any football for the Bills. He was eventually traded to the Lions for Thad Lewis (pretty good trade in my opinion) and then later released by the Lions and signed by the Patriots which is where he is currently. Another miss by Nix

Justin Rodgers, CB, Richmond

Grade: D

Rodgers was surprising as a 7th round rookie CB, he finiished the year with 16 Tackles, 4 PD, and 1 INT. His rookie year would put him in contention to see a significant up in playing time the next year. His next season he played all right, not taking the jump fans were hoping for, but playing decent enough to hold down a roster spot. Racking up 37 Tackles, 5 PD, and 1 INT. His third season he was looked at as more of a depth player that would fill in when needed, well, he was needed and he didn't step up very well. While his stats don't the whole story, he (secretly made a deal with the Jets that every time Geno passed his way he would flail his arms and let the WR catch the ball) would go on to be one of the worst coverage corners in the NFL, practically losing an entire game by himself.

Michael Jasper, OL, Bethel College (Tenn.)

Grade: F

Jasper was a pure potential pick. He had huge size, and all the tools to succeed, but he never did. He would be stashed on he practice squad and never heard from again until the Carolina Panthers would come along and sign him.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.