Right after the Buffalo Bills closed their 2010 season with a 4-12 record, we began breaking down the team's current personnel using this evaluation system. It's rudimentary, yes, but we're using it in an experimental fashion to try to highlight exactly where Buffalo's current strengths are, and where the team needs to focus on adding personnel.
We wrapped up the State of the Bills Roster series this morning by looking at the cornerbacks. After the jump, we'll re-visit the evaluation system, recapping which Bills players appear in each tier of the program. We'll leave it up to you as to what it may mean for the team's off-season goals.
1-A: This group is reserved for players that can be considered elite by NFL standards. Or, in Buffalo's case, player (singular).
1 player: DT Kyle Williams
2-B: This group is comprised of veteran players that will be over age 25 when the 2011 regular season begins. (If it does, blah blah blah.) At a bare minimum, these players are acceptable at their craft; some have more upside than others. Many are role players, and others play roles that may be above their talent level. The point is to label the player, not the player's role.
11 players: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Fred Jackson, WR Lee Evans, WR Roscoe Parrish, OT Demetrius Bell, DE Dwan Edwards, CB Drayton Florence, CB Leodis McKelvin, SS Donte Whitner, K Rian Lindell, P Brian Moorman
2-C: This group is comprised of players that will be age 25 or under when the 2011 regular season begins. All of these players have contributed to the team in some fashion in their time in Buffalo; some of those contributions are minor, while others have been extremely significant. Some of these players have elite potential; others could be solid starters; and others might never do another thing for the team.
6 players: WR Stevie Johnson, WR David Nelson, OG Andy Levitre, C Eric Wood, OLB Arthur Moats, FS Jairus Byrd
3-D: The third tier begins with similar criteria to 2-C - 25-and-under players that have not yet made significant contributions to the team. This group does not include every remaining 25-and-under player on the roster; it simply consists of players that I feel the team is likely to give a longer look at, whether it's at the start of 2011 or perhaps beyond in some cases. (Definitely beyond in a few.)
10 players: QB Levi Brown, RB C.J. Spiller, WR Marcus Easley, WR Donald Jones, WR Naaman Roosevelt, OT Ed Wang, DE Alex Carrington, NT Torell Troup, OLB Danny Batten, OLB Antonio Coleman
3-E: I call this the "fringe" group. These are players that I believe should be starters (or role players, or roster spot holders, as the case may be) if the team finds itself unable to upgrade at that player's position. These players shouldn't be difficult to replace, but due to varying circumstances, may have to play a role for this team in 2011. As with every group, some of these players are better (and have more significant investments in them) than others. Many are also good enough to ascend out of this group if they return to form in 2011.
20 players: FB Corey McIntyre, TE David Martin, TE Scott Chandler, OT Erik Pears, OG Kraig Urbik, OG Chad Rinehart, C Geoff Hangartner, DE Marcus Stroud, DT Spencer Johnson, OLB Shawne Merriman, OLB Chris Kelsay, ILB Paul Posluszny, ILB Andra Davis, ILB Reggie Torbor, ILB Akin Ayodele, CB Terrence McGee, CB Reggie Corner, FS George Wilson, SS Bryan Scott, LS Garrison Sanborn
4-F: For a myriad of reasons, I consider these player spare parts - roster-filler types that are very replaceable, and probably don't have much of a future with this football team.
26 players: QB Brian Brohm, RB Quinton Ganther, RB Jehuu Caulcrick, WR Felton Huggins, WR Paul Hubbard, WR Bobby Williams, TE Jonathan Stupar, TE Shawn Nelson, TE Mike Caussin, OT Jason Watkins, OG Mansfield Wrotto, OG Colin Brown, OG Cordaro Howard, DT Kellen Heard, DT John McCargo, DT Boo Robinson, OLB Pierre Woods, OLB Aaron Maybin, OLB John Russell, OLB Jammie Kirlew, ILB Keith Ellison, ILB Mike Balogun, CB Ashton Youboty, CB Trae Williams, FS Brett Johnson, SS Jon Corto
We'll be looking at this same breakdown in a slightly different manner in a post that'll publish in about an hour. That post will be for the more visual-oriented members of our community. Stay tuned!