If this picture doesn't make you sad, then we are most likely not friends.
As promised, here is the rest of my breakdown of the 2008 draft class. Writing this series has really depressed me. I knew the drafts have been awful the last several years, but when you sit down and really examine them, you understand why we have barely sniffed the playoffs in the last 11 years. As soon I finished writing this you better believe I cheered myself up by watching Sabres' highlights from the last few weeks. Especially this one
from Jason Pominville last night.
Hopefully this whole series is also entertaining for the readers, but if you need another pick me up besides the Sabres' Warpath, Buffalowins has a solid mock draft up, so check it out.
On to the sadness!
4th Round - Reggie Corner - Defensive Back - Akron
At one point this pick looked like a steal. I mean his name is CORNER! Reggie started eight games in 2009 due to injuries and was better than serviceable. He was blanketing WR's, disrupting backfields, and was probably one of the only players I was really taking notice of during the entire season. However, (and isn't there always a however with Buffalo) last year Corner took a huge step backwards. If it wasn't for nagging injuries to Terrence McGee, you may have never noticed him at all. By the end of the season, he was barely seeing time in dime packages. Jury may still be out on Reggie, but after three seasons and little consistency, I'm calling him Reggie "Specials Teams".
3rd Round - Chris Ellis - Defensive End - Virginia Tech
Ellis was drafted as a "project". He played 15 games in three seasons. He recorded 13 tackles and one sack. He then injured his knee last year, was cut by Buffalo and signed a future contract with Pittsburgh who will probably turn him into a pass-rush specialist who records double-digit sacks next season. Watch it happen AND STOP CALLING ME NEGATIVE!!!
This picture literally just gave me an anxiety attack
Hey Chris, if someone does a google-image search and this is the first picture that comes up....your career in football has not gone well.
2nd Round - James Hardy - Wide Receiver - Indiana
Remember how excited you were when Buffalo made this pick? I know I sure as hell was. At 6'5", Hardy was that big target receiver that everyone wanted. Unfortunately, despite a couple of nice TD grabs in his rookie season, this was a marriage that would never workout. Why?
1. Hardy pulled a gun on his father before his rookie season ever started
2. He had almost no clue how to run a route correctly, making his height absolutely useless.
3. Some guy named T.O. joined the team in 2009 and took James' jersey number AND starting spot.
4. He blew his knee out early in that 2009 season and was unable to get healthy in time for the 2010 season.
You would think that this may be one of the biggest draft busts of the last five years, but oh heeeeeeeeey 2009 draft class! Ugh. Shoot me now.
1st Round - Leodis McKelvin - Defensive Back - Troy
I'll keep this short. I could talk about how Leodis has had some solid kick returns for Buffalo, but honestly what's the point? He was the 11th choice overall and has not lived up to expectations at all. He missed almost all of 2009 with an injury, fell down the depth chart to the point where he looks like a career nickel-back, and even on those said returns, he has become fumble prone. One of which will be the way I will always remember him:
Yup. That is Leodis taking an unnecessary kickoff out of the end-zone, fumbling it, and allowing New England to continue their streak of owning us. Vandalizing his lawn may be insanely immature
, but in the moment, I wanted to vandalize his knee with a crowbar. (Who am I kidding? I would have said "nice game" and then ran away crying....sigh)
With all of the wrestling talk lately, I couldn't resist
Exciting times people. The Sabres are playing fantastic hockey
and on the verge of a playoff berth
. The Rock is returning to the ring in 2012 to actually wrestle
. And this Saturday the DGWU crew gathers to record their maiden podcast. It currently does not have a title, nor a definitive format, but hey, get the three of us in a small room with plenty of booze in our systems and it's bound to get interesting....and indubitably awkward.
That said, I think I better bring the mood back down to Buff-a-low standards. (See what I did there!) The Bills still suck, and with the 2011 NFL draft fast approaching, the EPIC FAIL series must continue. Ladies and gents, the draft class of 2008.*Sidenote: I decided to split this into two sections because I was having major posting issues and lost my column about 4 times before it would save. I'm worn out and need to walk away, so the rest of the picks will go up tomorrow or later this weekend.
7th round: Kennard Cox - Defensive Back - Pittsburgh Why so sacrilegious?
Kennard never got a real shot in Buffalo. He joined the likes of C.J. Ah You and Aaron Merz as players who never saw one snap as a Buffalo Bill. Released even before pre-season, Kennard has actually gone on to a decent special teams career with Jacksonville and Seattle. But oh what fun the word play could have been, right? "You think your secondary is strong? Ours is COX STRONG!" Priceless.
7th round: Steve Johnson - Wide Receiver - Kentucky Another vague wrestling reference!
Hey everybody look, a late round steal! Oh thank heavens for this gem because in all honesty, the rest of this draft class is f*cking disgusting. I mean like human centipede disgusting. I had a stomach virus last week and after looking over the draft board, I almost immediately reverted back to projectile vomiting on the PATH train tracks. Which reminds me! There are no garbage cans down there! NOT A ONE! Why the hell would you not think to include that in an underground train station?? Wait, what was I talking about? Oh right, Stevie Johnson is awesome. Except for maybe that whole blaming God for letting him drop a game-winning touchdown catch
. Not the best choice.
7th round: Demetrius Bell- Offensive Tackle - Northwestern State-Lousiana Front office or actual players? You decide.
By now you should all know the background story on Demetrius Bell. However, since I find it to be a particularly phenomenal tale, let us review: Bell is the illegitimate son of WCW-PPV wrestler and NBA legend Karl Malone. I did not make that up. The best part is what a complete tool Malone has been about the whole situation
. Besides all of that shit-show, Bell has turned out to be a solid 7th round pick. I am by no means jumping on this guy's bandwagon yet, because he has been nothing more than a serviceable lineman up until now. But with these horrific draft classes, you have to enjoy something. The next three picks will display this wonderfully.
6th round: Xavier Omon- Running Back - Northwest Missouri State5th round: Alvin Bowen- Outside Linebacker - Iowa State4th round: Derek Fine- Tight End - Kansas
Three players drafted. Three players off the team within two seasons.
Bowen injured himself during training camp and never played a down. Fine, a TE/H-Back hybrid was drafted right after the front office said they wanted to move away from using H-backs. That went well. Lastly, Omon took over the third-string RB role, but with the drafting of Spiller and the Bills' need to showcase Marshawn for a trade
, was left on the outside looking in. All three are still in the league but put up zero's in every possible stat category last season. DRAFT GOOD!
Come back for Section B this weekend! Until then, I'm gonna sliiiiiide away from The Yachtsman's hard rock movement and present a band that I have been fairly obsessed about over the last 6 months. Enjoy the Motown/Indie Rock stylin's of FITZ & The Tantrums. GO SABRES!!!!!!
Why do the players I like always let me down? Also, I am MEGA constipated right now.
Apologies to anyone who actually checked the blog last weekend looking for my addendum to my 2007 draft class anaylsis (Ha). I truly sat down to type it up Saturday afternoon, but quickly realized I had way to much to say about the top two picks from this specific draft class, and that entire draft in general. I started remembering a lot about the actual day, as well as my huge expectations and love for both of these players. It was no longer a quick post, but becoming a full blown column, so I figured I would save it for today. Before I get into it too much, a little about the day itself.
April 28th, 2007. McFadden's Sports Bar in New York City. 1 p.m. This was before the NFL realized they could make even more $$$ by moving the opening rounds of the draft into primetime, thus ruining what was always a fantastic day of sports talk with friends and heavy drinking over several hours. I met up with several friends and fellow Bills' fans that day, but arrived with my good friend TomDogg at about Noon in order to get a spot by the bar. It was going to be a good day.
The beer started flowing immediately, and as JaMarcus Russell walked to the podium, signaling another EPIC, EPIC, EPIC failure for the Oakland Raiders, I felt confident. Buffalo was coming off a much improved 2006 season under new Coach Dick Jauron, and more importantly new GM Marv Levy. The draft class from the year before appeared to have some solid sleepers (obviously I was wrong
), and the available draftees of 2007 looked incredibly deep. The bar was packed, and as a result of the draft itself taking place in NYC, people that were actually at Radio City started trickling in after their teams had selected. TomDogg and I actually ended up hanging out with a couple of Green Bay Packers' and Arizona Cardinals' fans. It was a joyous occasion for all. In fact, before Buffalo ever selected, my favorite moment of the draft occurred. But more on that later. On to the heartbreak.
How's my Drivin'? Call 1-800-555-THUG
I loved this pick. I don't care what anyone else says. I knew he could be trouble, but everything about him football-wise was amazing. He worked hard, played harder, and was actually thrilled to come to Buffalo. I wanted Patrick Willis more than anyone else, but after San Fran snatched him up right before Buffalo's pick, this was my next favorite choice. And since Marv made the pick, I figured that the worries about his character issues were in the past. Obviously that last part was incorrect, but everything Marshawn did on the field in his 3+ seasons with the Buffalo Bills made me happy. Yes, he had his moments in 2009 where he thought he was an outside the tackles runner, but he eventually reverted back to his power running ways. I could be wrong, but I don't think I ever questioned his heart or work ethic.
The two headed Freddie Jackson-Marshawn backfield was solid. At least this fan/writer/teacher/handsome sonuvabitch thinks so. It could have worked long-term, I really think so. However, the ridiculous drafting of C.J. Spiller ended that pairing before it ever had a chance to REALLY get started. Here there was two players with very different styles and skills in the Bills' hands, and they dropped one for a lousy 4th round pick (which they will most likely fuck up) because "the best player available at the time of the draft" was an undersized specialty player who "could be" a "gamebreaker". I feel like Dr. Evil with all of these quotations, but for God's sake this STILL pisses me off.
Some of my favorite moments watching the games from Calico Jacks in NYC happened to be when Marshawn would bust a 15 yard run up the middle without any hole ever opening up, my friends and I flashing the BEAST MODE sign and going nuts. I know many people loved the Spiller pick originally, and just as many, if not more were fine with the Lynch trade to Seattle. but c'mon people. Tell me you didn't miss Beast Mode even a little bit when you saw this run during the playoffs last year:
In theatres this summer: Marvel's THOR
Just as I was settling into loving that Marshwan selection, someone yells out from the bar "IT SAYS BUFFALO IS ON THE CLOCK!!!" The place erupts in cheers. Everyone in the building with any inkling of knowledge knew exactly what had just happened. The Bills had traded up to the 34th spot in order to select Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny. It was no secret that experts and fans alike had been predicting that Buffalo would make some sort of move to grab "Poz".
Originally thought to a mid-1st round selection, Poz slipped down the charts and Buffalo jumped at the chance to have a Shane Conlan clone. Conlan anchored the Bills' defensive backfield through the 90's and hell, Poz even wore his jersey number at Penn State in his honor. How could this go wrong? It was a perfect fit. I for one was even more excited because I had just started dating a girl who went to Penn State who was football obsessed, and this gave us a little common ground to enjoy games together. In fact, one of the first gifts I ever bought her was a Poz jersey (and before you make fun of me for that, she loved it, and is still with me today. So suck on that).
How has the pick turned out? A resounding meh. I hate to say it, but Poz has been no better than a run-of-the-mill NFL linebacker. That isn't necessarily a bad thing considering that so many players are out of the league within three years, but he has not lived up to the huge expectations that Bills fans, myself included set forth on him. He also has not exactly been a player of great health. The first mistake was moving him to middle-linebacker in a poor 4-3 defense, but I could go on with that for another 2000 words.
This upcoming season (if there is one), Poz will be a free-agent. Although Buffalo has tendered him an offer, it may mean absolutely nothing if a new CBA is agreed upon. What should Buffalo do? I honestly don't have an answer. Poz had a strong season in the new 3-4 defense, creating six turnovers (which was tied for the NFL lead) and was among the league leaders in tackles despite missing several games AGAIN with injury. But Poz has yet to make a pro bowl, and last year was a contract year.
As you saw fron the title of this post, I have been emotionally invested in both of these players. From day one I was a huge supporter. I own a Poz jersey. I own a Marshawn BEAST MODE t-shirt. I absolutely thought that these guys were the future of the team. But alas, I have been let down again. I'd like to say I'm still holding out for Poz to return and have a monster season that I always knew he was capable of, but that would be a lie. I have honestly become quite indifferent about the entire situation (kind of like anything political in the U.S. at this present moment).
Which brings me to my most lasting memory from the 2007 draft. The Miami Dolphins were on the clock with the 9th pick overall. They desperately needed a quarterback and Notre Dame star, Brady Quinn was still available. In a bar with mostly Buffalo fans, everyone was almost certain that Quinn would get snatched up immediately, especially after the commisioner walked to the podium made with time still left on the clock. What happened next was one of the best examples of unintentional comedy in the history of sports:
Ted Ginn Jr. A guy that many draft experts might fall to the 2nd round. Hilarious. I wish I had video of McFaddens when that went down. Tagliabue did not even get the "n's" in Ginn out before the bar erupted in laughter. Amazing. Even my friend TomDogg, who is a diehard Giants fan still considers this an amazing moment. Then again, the Dolphins have made the playoffs in the last 10 years. EPIC FAIL.
Anybody else have the feeling our kids will be speaking Chinese fluently in 30 years?
Before I jump into the sadness that is another Buffalo Bills' draft class, let me set a scene for you. As some of you may know, I work in education. I will not say exactly what I do or where I do it, but keep in mind that is what I do for a "real" living. I actually really enjoy it 99.9% of the time. I am one of those jerks that truly loves what they do. However, days like today, I decidely want to jump out of a window. Why, you may ask? Several reasons: It is currently 68 degrees outside and absolutely gorgeous. It is St. Patrick's Day and I am very Irish. It is also the first full day of the NCAA tournament, which as The Apologist put it, is the first day of the greatest sports month of the year
. Where am I? At my school until 10pm tonight because Parent-Teacher conferences (which only happen twice-a-year) are scheduled for this evening. That my friends is an EPIC FAIL. But I'll stop bitchin' and continue onto the....uh....other kind of bitchin'.
THE 2007 DRAFT:
7th round: C.J. Ah You - Defensive End - Oklahoma
Awesome name. My high school buddy Nate was most excited about this pick, just for the possibilities after he made a big play: Aaaaaaaaaaah Youuuuuuuuuuuuu! But alas, it was not to be. C.J. was cut before the season began. In fact, he was one of the very first players cut in the very beginning of training camp. Bad pick, right? Nope. C.J. was picked up as an injury replacement mid-2009 by the St. Louis Rams and has gone on to become a fantastic 3rd down pass rusher. In spot situations this past season, C.J. racked up four sacks on a surprisingly strong St. Louis defense. How many did Chris Kelsay have this season as a full-time starter? 3.5. Better give him an extension.
7th round: Derek Schouman - Fullback/Tight End - Boise State
Derek came out to Buffalo after being one of the heroes of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl in which Boise State shocked Oklahoma. You may also remember the post-game in which Ian Johnson proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend
. (Sidenote: The Scizz's better half was best friends in high school with said cheerleader's cousin! Pathetic name-drop!) Moving on, Schouman never amounted to anything in Buffalo, besides a very strong opening game in 2009 that ended in a horrific knee-injury. He also now resides in St. Louis. I sense a pattern.
6th round: John Wendling - Safety - Wyoming
Meh. He was a solid gunner on kick-offs and punts for three years, but when it was time for a new contract, the Bills decided to move-on (which is what Buffalo tends to do with long-snappers too
). I'm pretty indifferent. However, he did do this once:
FACT: The Buffalo Bills special teams coaches attempted to have John jump opposing offensive lines in order to block kicks. FACT: It never worked.
4th Round - Dwayne Wright - Running Back - Fresno State
Remember this guy? Of course you don't. He had a forgetful rookie season and was cut before the 2008 season due to fumble issues. Since then his career has included being waived by the Giants, Eagles, Steelers, and the Hartford Colonials of the UFL. He is now on the Toronto Argonauts' practice squad. Ouch.
3rd Round - Trent Edwards - Quarterback - Stanford
Fuck this guy for three reasons:
1.) For his ability to hold onto the ball in the pocket longer than Rob Johnson, Drew Bledsoe, and J.P. Losman COMBINED.
2.) For his career stat line of 30 INTs'-to-26 TDs, 60.5 comp %, and 75,4 passer rating
3.) For actually convincing me at one point during the 2008 season that he was the real deal and would lead us to the promise land that is the playoffs. NO PICTURE FOR YOU, YOU HANDSOME SONUVABITCH!!!!
As you may have noticed, none of these players are currently on the roster. There are two more woooooooonderful selections left, but since I had to stay at my school until 10 p.m., and I am absolutely dying for a Guinness and Bushmills shot, those will have to wait for this weekend. So good news for you! A draft special addendum this weekend for everyone to enjoy! (which according to website statistics, is when only girlfriends and immediate family reads our site) Oh well, I hope you read it, because I'm writing it bitches.
Cat = Buffalo GMs / Bird = Super Bowl
Alright, alright. We've had soccer and basketball posts with veiled references to Buffalo this week, but enough is enough. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed both the Yachtsman's
posts as much as the next guy, but now it's time for some more direct self-loathing. With the NFL rookie combine wrapping up, I have decided to go directly to one of the main sources that has caused us all so much pain the last several years: the Buffalo Bills' drafts since 2002. Now dissecting and examining every Bills' draft of the last 9 years would make for a very long blog post, as well as send me into a deep depression that may force me to run full speed into a brick wall, so I have decided to make this a series of posts. Let's begin.
Mr. Bad Decison, Tom Donahoe