For Buffalo Bills fans, they've been here too many times. The team has a draft pick in the top 12, and pundits are flirting with the idea of drafting a corner. Since 2006, the team has drafted a corner/defensive back twice in the first round. Twice, they've failed to live up to expectations. I'm talking about Donte Whitner and Leodis McKelvin. Whitner is no longer a Buffalo Bill, and McKelvin is on thin ice, struggling to secure a starting spot.
On the other hand, the corners and defensive backs the team has recently drafted in later rounds are still around and seeing as much, if not more playing time than McKelvin. That list includes: Reggie Corner Jairus Byrd, Aaron Williams, Justin Rogers and Da'Norris Searcy.
For the fan-base, putting their faith and time in another first-round corner will inspire a collective sigh and eye-roll. It's not that the talent and potential isn't available. It's that the team has that collection of recently drafted defensive backs, a former first-rounder and a free agent pool to pluck from. Not to mention Aaron Williams was a second-rounder and is primed to prove himself in his sophomore year.
Yes, the performance of Buffalo's defensive backfield was poor in 2011. The team ranked 28th in rushing defense and 19th in passing defense. But let's not forget that the team struggled to record sacks, recording a total of 29 for the year with rookie Marcell Dareus leading the team with 5.5.
With the signings of talented defense ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, one has to assume the team will be putting more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. That creates an opportunity for that collection of defensive back draft picks and newcomers (preferably drafted after the first round) to show off what they've got.
Furthermore, doesn't the team have other glaring holes to fill first? What about offensive tackle? Wide receiver? Outside linebacker? If the team is serious about contending in 2012, patching any of those holes takes precedent over the corner back situation.
It'll be interesting to see who the Buffalo Bills select at No. 10, as GM Buddy Nix is known to do things his own way. Remember how the team surprised everyone by picking running back CJ Spiller in 2010, creating a crowd at the position. This season, the team is at a critical point where it has to be incredibly smart with every move it makes. It's time to you-know-what or get off the pot with this core of players. In my opinion, the fastest way for this team to finally turn the corner is to use that precious top-10 pick on who should be the future right or left offensive tackle for years and years to come.
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