It's time for the Buffalo Bills selection in the 2016 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, and if history is any indicator, the faux-Bills have a great chance of ending up with an epic bust.
This is the 10th straight year that I've been charged with making picks for the Bills in the annual mock draft, and in the first nine years, there's been a lot more bad than good, to put it mildly. Let's run through the eight first-round picks I've made in this event since its inception, just so y'all know what to expect come Monday morning, when the latest Bills mock draft pick drops. (Dan Lavoie did help this time around, so we might be in much better shape than if I'd gone it alone.)
2007-1-10: Patrick Willis, LB, Mississippi
In the only mock draft in which we were allowed to make trades, I traded the Nos. 12 and 92 overall picks to Houston to move up to No. 10 overall, ahead of San Francisco at No. 11, to nab Willis. It's the shrewdest, and best, move I've made in this event; Willis wrapped up his eight-year 49ers career in 2014 with five All-Pro appearances, seven Pro Bowl appearances, and 732 tackles, 20.5 sacks, eight interceptions, 16 forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries in 112 career starts. He was an outstanding pro linebacker.
2008-1-11: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
Kelly lasted all of two years in Washington as a second-round pick, catching 28 passes for 365 yards and no scores in 21 career games. (The big receiver the Bills selected that season, James Hardy, did not fare much better.)
2009-1-11: Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
Hey, I was right! Right? Maybin, of course, flamed out in Buffalo after two seasons with nary a sack on his CV, then picked up six sacks in one season with the New York Jets before eventually flaming out of the league altogether.
2010-1-9: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
It's hard to single out the worst in a series of awful picks, but Clausen may take the cake: sure, he's still in the league, but he also has just 14 starts to his name (he's won just one of those games), and boasts a 54.0 completion percentage, a 5.3 yards per attempt figure, and a 7-to-14 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
2011-1-3: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
It would've been hard to screw up a top-three pick in the talent-rich 2011 draft class, and mercifully, I didn't; in his five pro seasons, Peterson has emerged as one of the best cornerbacks in the game, appearing in the Pro Bowl all five seasons and earning All-Pro honors in three of them (twice as a defender, once as a return specialist). He has 17 interceptions, nine fumble recoveries, and five total touchdowns in 80 career games.
2012-1-10: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
I had the right idea this year, just the wrong name: I wanted to take a massive starting left tackle for the Bills. Had I taken Cordy Glenn here, nobody would be batting an eye today (even though the Bills ultimately nabbed Glenn in Round 2). Instead, I took Adams, who started 20 games in his first three years, spent 2015 on the PUP list, and doesn't look like a long-term fixture for Pittsburgh.
2013-1-8: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Maybin (six) currently has more career sacks than Jones (five). That might change if Jones continues to see extensive playing time with Pittsburgh in 2016, but the considerable chance that it might not change says all that needs to be said about this selection.
2014-1-9: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Regardless of the price paid, the Bills ended up with the better receiver prospect this year, but Evans has enjoyed a strong start to his career, as well. In two seasons in Tampa Bay, Evans has caught 142 passes for 2,257 yards and 15 touchdowns. (By comparison: Sammy Watkins has 125 receptions, 2,029 yards, and 15 touchdowns.)
The Bills didn't have a first-round pick in 2015, of course, which was, frankly, welcome relief for your selection-challenged de facto GM.
It can't be much worse than it's been, right? And I have Dan Lavoie to advise me this time around (just as he has in each of the last two drafts, as well). Our 2016 first-round pick goes live on Monday morning, April 4 at 9:00 a.m. ET. Wish us luck. We (read: I) need it.