Bills among teams with poor draft history

Story posted April 24, 2013 in CommRadio, Sports, NFL Draft by Matt Trabold

When it comes to NFL teams synonymous with poor drafting in the first round in the last decade or so, many turn to the Detroit Lions before they picked a gem in Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson in 2007.

The team’s 2002 first round draft pick in Oregon QB Joey Harrington had 62 interceptions compared to just 60 touchdowns in four seasons with the team. The 20th century so far also saw the Lions take infamous first round WR busts Charles Rogers out of Michigan State in 2003 and Mike Williams out of USC in 2005.

Rogers mustered just 440 yards and 4 touchdowns in three seasons as a Lion, while Williams had just 449 yards and two touchdowns of his own in a Detroit uniform. The Minnesota Vikings at times have made a pretty good case themselves, especially in 2003 when they were unable to get a trade done with the Baltimore Ravens before their 15-minute time limit was up. This blunder resulted in a very rare “pass” of their first round selection.

An NFL team that should undoubtedly be grouped in this designation of a history of first round draft picks in the 20th century not panning out is the Buffalo Bills. While a case can be made that Buffalo has done pretty well with who they have selected in the first round over the last three drafts – Clemson RB C.J. Spiller in 2010, Alabama DT Marcell Dareus in 2011 and South Carolina CB Stephon Gilmore in 2012 – the Bills have still taken a gamble on plenty of players that have underachieved.

Buffalo spent the No. 4 overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft on Texas OT Mike Williams. In four seasons in a Bills uniform, Williams only started 47 games and was widely recognized by NFL minds as one of the biggest busts in a first round full of them. Two of the three players taken before Williams that year were Joey Harrington and fellow underachieving QB David Carr out of Fresno State.

In 2004, the Bills shocked the NFL world trading up to the #22 pick to draft lesser-known Tulane QB Jonathan Paul Losman – also known as J.P. – in a first round where now very successful NFL QB Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger were also taken. Losman started 33 games over five seasons for the Bills, amassing just 33 touchdowns compared to 34 interceptions.

NC State DT John McCargo was Buffalo’s first round selection in 2006. McCargo started just one game over five seasons in Orchard Park with only 2.5 sacks and 34 tackles to show for it. The last glaring first round draft pick gaff for the Bills was in 2009 with Penn State DE Aaron Maybin. Over two seasons for Buffalo, the controversial Maybin started just one game with no sacks and 14 tackles.

Bills sideline reporter Mike Catalana compares Maybin to a player in the current draft class that the Bills at No. 8 would be tempted to select if he somehow dropped that far.

“A lot of people start talking about Aaron Maybin when they think Dion Jordan,” Catalana said in an interview with the ComRadio NFL Draft Show. “He’s a thinner speed guy from the outside, so that worries a lot of Bills fans.”

The Bills made two of the bigger moves in the 2012 NFL offseason last year, adding top-flight DE Mario Williams from the Houston Texans and Mark Anderson from the New England Patriots. Expectations were high for Buffalo coming into this past season with those additions and what the team returned, but they finished just 6-10.

This current offseason so far has seen plenty of notable former Bills depart, including QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, OG Andy Levitre, DE Chris Kelsay and S George Wilson. After arguably underachieving last season and having plenty of holes after this offseason so far, this is a very important draft for the squad. “Pick a position pretty much and the Bills need help,” Catalana said to sum up 2013 NFL Draft needs for Buffalo.

Listen to the full interview below with Bills sideline reporter Mike Catalana for more Buffalo Bills analysis in terms of the 2013 NFL Draft, prospects from Syracuse and his personal 2013 NFL Combine experience.

Matt Trabold is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email