An astute reader recently pointed out to me that whenever we focus on Buffalo Bills draft classes of yesteryear, we tend to focus solely on what that class has or has not accomplished collectively. The further back we go into the team's draft annals, the more sense it makes to attack the issue from that angle - but it doesn't help us get a gauge of more recent draft classes.
This reader suggested that we take a look at the Bills' picks from the 2010 NFL Draft with the idea of evaluating the class not on what they've done to date - which we already know is very little - but on what each player needs to do to improve himself on the field, and to become a contributor for this team.
It's an interesting concept, and one that the NFL lockout affords us the time to explore. This also ties in with the Bills re-watch we've been conducting over the last several weeks, as most of these players have made appearances in those breakdowns. Everything, as usual, is after the jump.
1-9: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson. Spiller still needs to learn a few rules of the road in professional football. Though he improved as a runner as the year wore on, he still tended to bounce plays outside, ignore his blocking, and failed to finish runs in a satisfactory fashion. Athletically, he's in maintenance mode. Once he gets the mental side of the game down, he'll be just fine.
2-41: Torell Troup, NT, Central Florida. Made improvements technically as the year wore on, but also saw his playing time generally diminish. Needs to get bigger and stronger, which we believe he has done. Already a good hustle player, Troup must continue to hone his technique so as to hold the point of attack more consistently.
3-72: Alex Carrington, DE, Arkansas State. Slightly more physically advanced than Troup last year, Carrington's problems were technical. Flashed brilliance, but was also manhandled on occasion. Must continue to refine his technique so as to play with more consistent leverage. Has good instincts, but needs to become more comfortable in the system; he appeared to be thinking too frequently last season, and had delayed reactions.
4-107: Marcus Easley, WR, Connecticut. Lost his rookie season to a knee injury. First and foremost, he needs to stay healthy - easier said than done without an off-season in an NFL strength program. Technique will be an important area for him, as he came into the league very inexperienced and with a low level of production. Route-running will be key.
5-140: Ed Wang, OT, Virginia Tech. Wang is another lineman that needs to get much stronger. A hand injury severely limited his rookie season, and the only action he saw came at left guard. Athletically, he's a much better fit at tackle. Aside from strength, technique will be a big issue - and something that cross-training him at guard may actually hamper.
6-178: Arthur Moats, OLB, James Madison. Made improvements as a pass rusher as his rookie season wore on, and made a few game-changing plays. Again, strength gain is a must. Moats must learn to get lower bending the edge, so as to play with better leverage. Run techniques must improve, and he simply needs more time to get comfortable at a new position, particularly in coverage responsibilities.
6-192: Danny Batten, OLB, South Dakota State. Like Easley, lost his rookie season to injury - in this case, a shoulder. Coaches can't seem to decide on a position for him; as a former end, it's clear he'd be best outside. Will still be learning a new position, so technique and comfort level will be big hurdles.
7-209: Levi Brown, QB, Troy. Saw very limited action in the season finale. Struggled reading coverages and placing the football. These are the two areas he must focus on most critically. Has the mental makeup and collegiate background to operate the offense Ryan Fitzpatrick runs as a backup - just needs time and experience. Much more experience.
7-216: Kyle Calloway, OT, Iowa. The third-most popular draft pick in the history of Buffalo Rumblings is currently penciled in as the starting right tackle of Jerry Glanville's Hartford Colonials, a UFL team.