The Bills have endured a long playoff drought, but the 2011 class is playing a major role in the turnaround that's set to take place under coach Doug Marrone. Marcell Dareus has become a disruptive force in the middle, while Aaron Williams and Da'Norris Searcy have taken care of business in the backend. Kelvin Sheppard was a solid contributor for the Bills, but he was traded away prior to the 2013 season for Jerry Hughes. Although the move is an acknowledgment of failure, the fact that Hughes made significant contributions as a situational pass rusher means the move worked out well for the Bills.
Best pick: Aaron Williams, DB (Round 2, 34th overall)
Williams made a smooth conversion from cornerback to safety for the Bills. He is athletic enough to lock down slot receivers and tight ends, yet is a forceful presence against the run. With a move to free safety on the horizon and signed to a $26 million extension, Williams has exceeded expectations as a Day 2 selection.
Worst pick: Marcell Dareus, DT (Round 1, 3rd overall)
There's no disputing Dareus' on-field performance (18.5 sacks in three seasons), but his legal transgressions will make it tough for the team to commit big money to a player with a suspect background. Thus, the Bills could eventually regret investing so much in a player that might not be around for the long-term.
Value pick: Da'Norris Searcy, SS (Round 4, 100th overall)
Searcy's versatility and playmaking skills have made him a valuable member of the Bills' secondary. He capably covers the deep middle, while also flashing the toughness and athleticism to rush the passer on blitzes (3.5 sacks in 2013). With 10 starts in three seasons and an emerging role as a sub-linebacker, the Bills have gotten good value from their fourth-round pick
I find this interesting considering what he said about SF
If you're looking for a reason why the 49ers are one of the heavyweights in the NFC, look no further than the 2011 draft class. The combination of Aldon Smith and Colin Kaepernick gave the team a pair of young playmakers to build around, while Daniel Kilgore and Bruce Miller are the blue-collar players that do the dirty work behind the scenes. With the 49ers stacking a stellar class on top of an extraordinary 2010 group (Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati and NaVorro Bowman), the impressive development of a young, talented roster has put the team in position to compete for the next few years.
Best pick: Aldon Smith, OLB (Round 1, 7th overall)
Smith's knucklehead tendencies have overshadowed his dominant production as a disruptive defender off the edge. The two-time Pro Bowler amassed 42 sacks and five forced fumbles in 43 games, which is absolutely ridiculous for a young player still refining his game. Although his off-field struggles threaten to curtail his career, there's no doubt that Smith is one of the most dominant defenders in the NFL.
Worst pick: Chris Culliver, CB (Round 3, 80th overall)
Culliver has been a mild disappointment as a sub-defender in passing situations. With a host of baggage and maturity concerns clouding the evaluation, it's hard to say the risk has been worth the reward for the 49ers.
Value pick: Colin Kaepernick, QB (Round 2, 36th overall)
Credit Jim Harbaugh for having the courage and confidence to develop a spectacular athlete with an unorthodox game into a franchise quarterback. Kaepernick has given the 49ers' offense an explosive dimension with his ability to create big plays with his arm and legs. More important, he has given the 49ers a confidence and swagger that has helped the team remain a title contender despite dealing with a host of injuries on the offensive side of the ball.
I would appreciate your thoughts on this. (specifically the Dareus/Smith analysis)