2011 NFL Draft Grades: Grading the Buffalo Bills' 2011 Draft Picks
2011 NFL Draft Grades Ponder Bills' Defensive Upgrades
When handing out grades for the 2011 NFL Draft, it's important to look at a team's needs, the impact the players will have, and their long-term potential.
The Buffalo Bills managed to hit all three areas at various points in this year's draft, starting with first overall pick Marcell Dareus. The big defensive tackle fills a huge need for this team, giving them a dominant force in the middle of their defensive line, capable of swallowing up blockers, devouring running backs and generally being a colossal thorn in the side of offensive coordinators.
They found serious value in Round 2, grabbing corner Aaron Williams, who could turn out to be a star for years to come at either corner or safety, while Kelvin Sheppard looks like one of the most polished linebacking prospects on the board.
It was clear that Buffalo's focus was on the defense in this draft, and the team did a fantastic job of addressing the holes they had on that side of the ball.
Offensively, though, the Bills left much to be desired. The offensive line remains a major area of concern for this team, who once again failed to address the position until the late rounds of the draft. If they don't want their running backs stuffed at the line of scrimmage, and don't want Ryan Fitzpatrick running for his life, they need to find some answers on the line, and their recent drafts have shown a lack of interest in improving it.
Grade: B. Buffalo did a fantastic job shoring up a shoddy defense, finding great value and addressing major needs at every defensive position. They figure to be much improved next season defensively, but the offense will still see Ryan Fitzpatrick running for his life. Maybe next season the Bills will get around to grabbing an offensive lineman, but even so, they did a fairly good job overall addressing needs.
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