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Buffalo Bills NFL Draft Retrospective: 2010

The first draft class of the Buddy Nix regime was not productive long-term

In order to prepare for observing the Buffalo Bills’ 2019 rookie class during their first training camp, we thought it would be fun to look back at the past seven drafts of the Bills, as a sort of retrospective. Our goal: an examination of where the team found successes, where the it was led astray and a chance to remember some of the more forgotten players from the past nine years.

First up is Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey’s inaugural draft after taking over as general manager and head coach, respectively. The former Dallas Cowboys and Georgia Tech head coach quickly installed a new 3-4 defense and hired defensive coordinator George Edwards to further that cause. Going into the draft, the team needed players that fit the new defense and more playmakers to surround Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish.

Round 1
9th overall

RB C.J. Spiller

Spiller spent most of his career sharing time with fan-favorite Fred Jackson, which likely stunted his production—even if it was better for the team. His rookie and second-year seasons included a few decent flashes, but his break-out campaign came in his third year. After Jackson went down with an injury in 2012, Spiller picked up the slack by running for more than 1,200 yards, catching 43 passes for 459 yards and being selected to the Pro Bowl. New coach Doug Marrone chose to continue splitting carries between a now-healthy Jackson and Spiller for two more years, although a collarbone injury shortened Spiller’s 2014 season. In 2015, the team chose not to re-sign him and saw him bolt for the New Orleans Saints and Sean Payton’s offense.

Verdict: Minor Hit

From 2012-2014, the ninth overall pick was one of the most feared running backs in the game with an elite yards-per-carry average and an ability to contribute in the passing game. He just never saw enough opportunities either due to the presence of Fred Jackson or injuries.

Round 2
41st overall

DT Torell Troup

After spending his rookie season as a part-timer, Troup suffered a herniated disc and a fractured spine, missing most of the 2012 season and was released following training camp in 2013. He finished his Bills career having only started two games and making 17 tackles.

Verdict: Major Miss

It’s always disappointing to unknowingly draft a bust, especially in the second round, but it’s ten times worse when that bust is mostly due to injury, as opposed to a lack of effort. Troup’s work ethic in his rehab was worthy of praise, but his body just didn’t allow him to contribute.

Round 3
72nd overall

DT/DE Alex Carrington

Coming from small-school Arkansas State, Carrington wasn’t able to establish himself as a starting 3-4 defensive end in his first two years, but did manage to become a productive backup in 2012. The following year, Carrington was primed and ready to be a starter in Mike Pettine’s new hybrid scheme after a strong training camp, but tore his quad in the third game of the season. He left for the St. Louis Rams in free agency in 2014, but did come back to the Bills as a run-stopping 4-3 defensive end in 2015 before tearing his quad again.

Verdict: Minor Miss

A victim of both injury and the team’s constant changing of defensive scheme, Carrington’s career is a story of poor timing. Who knows how different his career would’ve been if he managed to stay healthy and productive in 2013. As it stands, he was a minor miss in the third round for a team that desperately needed quality defensive starters.

Round 4
107th overall

WR Marcus Easley

Another small school, developmental player, Easley never actually developed into a receiver. A knee injury and mysterious heart ailment kept him off the field for two years, stunting any development, although in 2013 he emerged as a special-teams ace and even managed to earn a second contract with the team. Another knee injury in 2015 led him to spending 2016 on injured reserve and his eventual release.

Verdict: Minor Miss

The special-teams play helps his cause, but considering Easley only caught three regular-season passes in his five-year Bills career and wasn’t even a reliable backup for the team is a bit of a disappointment, even for a fourth rounder.

Round 5
140th overall

OT Ed Wang

It was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it career for Wang, who was drafted out of Virginia Tech for his size, but he only lasted a single season as a reserve lineman and was quickly released by the team early in the 2011 season.

Verdict: Major Miss

Fifth rounders are supposed to provide their teams with depth at key positions, and Wang’s lone season with the team prevented even that low bar from being crossed.

Round 6
178th overall

OLB Arthur Moats

Being a sixth-round pick and a bit small for a pass rusher, Moats managed to last through his rookie contract with the team thanks to his ability to provide depth at multiple linebacking positions and to be a situational pass rusher when called upon. He was also a stalwart starter on special teams. Although coming off his best season statically in 2013, Moats signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers thanks to a better defensive fit.

Verdict: Minor Hit

’Don’t Cross The Moats’ was an underdog story who was easy to root for, and his stalwart presence on the team with occasional flashes of brilliance means he was a solid pick in the sixth round.

Round 6
192nd overall

OLB Danny Batten

Yet another small-school moonshot, Batten succumbed to a shoulder injury his rookie season and, with the team desperate for pass rushers, didn’t make much of an impact the following year. He was unceremoniously cut in 2012.

Verdict: Minor Miss

Like Wang, you’d have hoped that Batten would’ve shown enough spark to be considered a long-term depth option on a team begging for pass rushers, but he didn’t even manage to make it three years with the team.

Round 7
209th overall

QB Levi Brown

Brown actually saw the field for five snaps as a rookie in a Week 17 loss against the New York Jets, throwing a quick interception. He was cut following the 2011 preseason.

Verdict: Minor Miss

It’s tough to judge a seventh-round quarterback selection, given the utter lack of practice snaps Brown probably received his rookie year, but you would’ve liked to see him stick around for another year or two.

Round 7
216th overall

OT Kyle Calloway

Calloway never managed to stand out during his rookie training camp. The Bills were quick to part ways with him—releasing him during the first round of cuts in August 2010.

Verdict: Minor Miss

Iowa linemen come with great reputations and Calloway played on the same college line as Bryan Bulaga. Unfortunately he just wasn’t athletic enough to cut it in the NFL.