Recently a Buffalo Bills fan rented a billboard to vent his anger towards the Bills front office. While most people have pointed the finger at Dick Jauron for this season's miscues, and he is entitled to his share of the blame, I have to believe that a decade long playoff drought could have been averted with a better use of our draft-day selections. I point the finger at one of the oft neglected names on the infamous billboard, Tom Modrak the team's chief college scout.
There is one simple reason why the Bills have not made the playoffs in nearly ten years; they have drafted mediocre college QB's (first JP Lostman, and then Trent Edwards) and have given them far too long a rope with which to hang the rest of the franchise. Since Jarius Byrd has been playing at a Pro-Bowl level as a rookie; and the D has been forcing unfathomable numbers of turnovers, it is obvious that the rebuilding should begin on the Offensive side of the ball.
Let's look at Lostman and Edwards college stats and then glance at some current prospects who would be a considerable improvement in next years draft.
Lostman played for an 8-5 Tulane team in 2002. While the team featured future backup running back Mewelde Moore it was a bad sign for Lossman that the Moore was his leading receiver. Lossman put up a paltry 2,468 yards passing that year. He averaged only 6.2 yds a pass, only 189 yds per game, and threw for 10 Tds while connecting with the opposing secondary 19 times.
The Bills decided to spend the 22nd pick in the draft on this "diamond in the rough."
Notable players who were still on the board when the Bills took Lostman, some of whom were future pro-bowlers...
24. Stephen Jackson (Rams) 34. Chris Snee (Giants) 44. Bob Sanders (Colts) 64. Darnell Dockett (Cardinals) 90. Matt Schaub (Falcons, the Bills also had the 74th pick to nab Schaub, but selected Tim Anderson a DT from Ohio State).
In 2006 the Bills passed up Jay Cutler and Matt Leinart to pick Dante Whitner who has been a role player at best only recording 3 INT's in his time with Buffalo.
In 2007 they selected Trent Edwards in probably the weakest QB class in the last ten years. JaMarcus Russell was the first overall pick from that draft.
What Buffalo saw in Edwards I will never know. He played for a Stanford squad that posted 1 win during his last year there. He never passed for more than 1,940 yards in a season, he averaged roughly what he averages now in the NFL, 6-7yds a pass. He never really put up phenomenal numbers in college. Yet scouts must have saw some elusive "coachable" qualities in him. "High Football IQ" being that he was tenured under Bill Walsh.
I want to see the Bills pick someone with gaudy unbelievable numbers this year. Case Keenum already has a 5,000 yard passing season under his belt, and Colt McCoy threw for nearly 4,000 yards two seasons ago. Nothing wrong with picking someone who is dominant at their position.
Let's go Buffalo! Get this team headed in the right direction. Draft either McCoy or Keenum.