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Failed Top Draft Picks in the Polian Era


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#1 Flatlander

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

I've heard so many complaints about all the failed top draft picks Buddy Nix has made I was wondering how he compared to Bill Polian? I looked up the picks he took through round 3, figuring that players drafted there are the ones expected to start. Here's what I got:

1986
1. Ronnie Harmon
1. Will Wolford
2. Leonard Burton

1987
1. Shane Conlan
2. Nate Odomes
2. Roland Mitchell
3. David Brandon
3. Jamie Mueller

1988
2. Thurman Thomas
3. Bernard Ford

1989
3. Don Beebe

1990
1. J. D. Williams
2. Carwell Gardner
3. Glenn Parker

1991
1. Henry Jones
2. Phil Hansen
3. Darryl Wren

1992
1. John Fina
2. James Patton
3. Keith Goganious

I highlighted the ones that never panned out or never met expectations. With the exception of 1989, where there was only one pick, every draft had at least one miss. Bill Polian set the standard for every following Bills GM, but he wasn't perfect.

Buddy has been hurt by the 2011 class, which had looked terrific going into this year, but has regressed. I think it's too soon to call it a failure yet.

#2 gjnoronh

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:23 PM

I thought good gms never miss on draft picks.  Maybe you miss classified those picks ;)

#3 Cville Bills

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:43 PM

Good try.  Awful thread.  A 3rd round pick when you are picking around 30th in each round is hardly the "top draft pick" in the title of the thread.
If you want to make a decent point at least compare Polian's 'top picks' with others in his era.  I am not sure you have a grasp on how the draft works.

Why don't you at least provide what you feel would be the best GM's picks of that same era for us to compare?  :wallbash:

#4 spartacus

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:56 PM

View PostCville Bills, on 21 November 2012 - 09:43 PM, said:

Good try.  Awful thread.  A 3rd round pick when you are picking around 30th in each round is hardly the "top draft pick" in the title of the thread.
If you want to make a decent point at least compare Polian's 'top picks' with others in his era.  I am not sure you have a grasp on how the draft works.

Why don't you at least provide what you feel would be the best GM's picks of that same era for us to compare?  :wallbash:

Polian may have some misses - but at least he has some impact players to his credit
Buddy, not so much

#5 jjmac

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:58 PM

Ronnie Harmon was not a great pick for us.

#6 BucksNBills

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:01 PM

View PostCville Bills, on 21 November 2012 - 09:43 PM, said:

Good try.  Awful thread.  A 3rd round pick when you are picking around 30th in each round is hardly the "top draft pick" in the title of the thread.
If you want to make a decent point at least compare Polian's 'top picks' with others in his era.  I am not sure you have a grasp on how the draft works.

Why don't you at least provide what you feel would be the best GM's picks of that same era for us to compare?  :wallbash:

Jesus take it easy.  Fine thread, thank you.

#7 Dirtbag

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:02 PM

View PostBucksNBills, on 21 November 2012 - 10:01 PM, said:

Jesus take it easy.  Fine thread, thank you.

nah, it's brutal.

#8 San Jose Bills Fan

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:03 PM

View PostCville Bills, on 21 November 2012 - 09:43 PM, said:

Good try.  Awful thread.  A 3rd round pick when you are picking around 30th in each round is hardly the "top draft pick" in the title of the thread.
If you want to make a decent point at least compare Polian's 'top picks' with others in his era.  I am not sure you have a grasp on how the draft works.

Why don't you at least provide what you feel would be the best GM's picks of that same era for us to compare?  :wallbash:

Wow.

Easy there, Killer.

Participation in these threads IS voluntary.

And you can add value or add crap.

#9 KD in CT

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:14 PM

Those drafts look pretty solid to me.   Obviously no GM hits on every pick, but the good ones don't have Aaron Maybin level misses in the top 10.

#10 San Jose Bills Fan

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:14 PM

One of the things that's changed since Polian's time is that the NFL draft was 12 rounds until 1993, and then it was 8 rounds in 1994 before becoming our present-day 7 round draft in 1995.

Polian unearthed some gems in the late round so much of his success came later on in those lengthy drafts.

Free agency was also evolving during that time so much has changed.

It's interesting to see the picks however. Certainly not overly impressive.

Finally, Polian along with Norm Pollom was also responsible for the 1985 Draft (after GM Terry Bledsoe was fired).

The Bills selected Bruce Smith and Derrick Burroughs in the first round, Mark Traynowicz and Chris Burkett in the second round, and Frank Reich and Hal Garner in the third round.

The 1985 draft was also the one in which the Bills selected Andre Reed and Dale Hellastrae in the fourth round.

They had a lot of high picks in '85 and came away with some good players.

#11 Sisyphean Bills

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:23 PM

He wasn't the GM, but he was part of the team that hauled Bruce Smith, Derrick Burroughs, Frank Reich, and Andre Reed.  Some other names that Polian was GM over the drafting of: Butch Rolle, Mark Pike, Jamie Mueller, Leon Seals, Keith McKellar, Howard Ballard, Carlton Bailey, Martin Mayhew, Marvcus Patton, Mike Lodish, Al Edwards, Kurt Schulz, and Mark Maddox.  Maybe not stars, but good solid role players that helped pull the sweeps for the Bills to get to 4 straight Super Bowls.  And let's not forget he was instrumental in working deals to get Jim Kelly and Kent Hull to Buffalo.

http://www.buffaloru...ls-wall-of-fame

Edit: Stack that up against the Modrak era of Bills drafting, where the bigger hits were Aaron Schobel and Lee Evans, and there were multiple top of the 1st round disasters.  Nobody bats 1.000 in baseball or the draft.

#12 Rico

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:41 PM

John Fina may have played for the Bills a lot of years, but he was not very good at all. :thumbdown:

The much-maligned Glenn Parker > Fina IMO.

#13 BillsVet

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:44 PM

If the standard for drafting is perfection, every single GM falls woefully short.  There aren't many guys who approach Polian, who was successful before and after the salary cap went into effect.  

Then again, there are people who chalk up his entire success in Buffalo and Indianapolis to having the number one pick in 1985 and 1998.  That, of course, remains the extremely lazy view and completely ignores the other draft success BP had as GM of those clubs.

#14 CardinalScotts

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:01 AM

the thread was he did a poor job drafting which I agree with - when John Fina and Henry Jones as examples were the 27th and 26th over all selections are viewed as solid players then the bar is pretty low. . (here is where we mention who we didnt pick) instead of Fina we could have had Jimmy Smith , Darren Woodson, Levon Kirkland   or instead of Henry Jones we could have taken Brett Farve or Ricky Waters but Polian was "asleep at the wheel"

Who's better James Patton or Terrel Troup ?
I love the excuse of how late we were drafting....you can't find a good player or two in the top 65 guys other teams do.

Kelly, Manning made up for a lot of poor choices on draft day then again check New England lately Brady is covering for a lot of misses

#15 Dragonborn10

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:16 AM

So far Spiller may be closer to Harmon than Thurman.
We hope Glenn is half as good as Wolford and better than Fina.
A. Williams is JD Williams with good vision

While I believe Conaln was terribly overrated, need to also remember Bennett was aquired with those missing picks.

I will take Polian's draft with a HOF RB and several solid starters over what Nix has delivered so far...

#16 Billshank Redemption

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:45 AM

yea i dont think you can compare the 2. polian has created teams that reached 6 superbowls, buddy 0 its as simple as that.

#17 Buffalo Barbarian

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:57 AM

View PostFlatlander, on 21 November 2012 - 08:59 PM, said:

I've heard so many complaints about all the failed top draft picks Buddy Nix has made I was wondering how he compared to Bill Polian? I looked up the picks he took through round 3, figuring that players drafted there are the ones expected to start. Here's what I got:

1986
1. Ronnie Harmon
1. Will Wolford
2. Leonard Burton

1987
1. Shane Conlan
2. Nate Odomes
2. Roland Mitchell
3. David Brandon
3. Jamie Mueller

1988
2. Thurman Thomas
3. Bernard Ford

1989
3. Don Beebe

1990
1. J. D. Williams
2. Carwell Gardner
3. Glenn Parker

1991
1. Henry Jones
2. Phil Hansen
3. Darryl Wren

1992
1. John Fina
2. James Patton
3. Keith Goganious

I highlighted the ones that never panned out or never met expectations. With the exception of 1989, where there was only one pick, every draft had at least one miss. Bill Polian set the standard for every following Bills GM, but he wasn't perfect.

Buddy has been hurt by the 2011 class, which had looked terrific going into this year, but has regressed. I think it's too soon to call it a failure yet.

2010 is an absolute disaster besides Spiller, and we have already lost 4 picks from this year, not good so far

View PostDadonkadonk, on 22 November 2012 - 01:16 AM, said:

So far Spiller may be closer to Harmon than Thurman.
We hope Glenn is half as good as Wolford and better than Fina.
A. Williams is JD Williams with good vision

While I believe Conaln was terribly overrated, need to also remember Bennett was aquired with those missing picks.

I will take Polian's draft with a HOF RB and several solid starters over what Nix has delivered so far...

Spiller is better than Harmon and Conlan was a stud.

#18 plenzmd1

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 06:06 AM

View PostBuffalo Barbarian, on 22 November 2012 - 02:57 AM, said:





Spiller is better than Harmon

Well, at least at this point I do not think Spiller is on the take and shaving points, so that is a huge plus.

BTW, I look at the list in the OP, and come away even more impressed with Polian.

#19 BigdaddyinOrlando

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:42 AM

Lets not forget they greta trade that netted us Corneleous Bennet! That trade their was huge in putting another impact player in the front seven!!

#20 mjt328

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:33 AM

View PostFlatlander, on 21 November 2012 - 08:59 PM, said:

I've heard so many complaints about all the failed top draft picks Buddy Nix has made I was wondering how he compared to Bill Polian? I looked up the picks he took through round 3, figuring that players drafted there are the ones expected to start. Here's what I got:

1986
1. Ronnie Harmon
1. Will Wolford
2. Leonard Burton

1987
1. Shane Conlan
2. Nate Odomes
2. Roland Mitchell
3. David Brandon
3. Jamie Mueller

1988
2. Thurman Thomas
3. Bernard Ford

1989
3. Don Beebe

1990
1. J. D. Williams
2. Carwell Gardner
3. Glenn Parker

1991
1. Henry Jones
2. Phil Hansen
3. Darryl Wren

1992
1. John Fina
2. James Patton
3. Keith Goganious

I highlighted the ones that never panned out or never met expectations. With the exception of 1989, where there was only one pick, every draft had at least one miss. Bill Polian set the standard for every following Bills GM, but he wasn't perfect.

Buddy has been hurt by the 2011 class, which had looked terrific going into this year, but has regressed. I think it's too soon to call it a failure yet.

I notice that you conveniently left out the 1985 draft, which netted us one of the greatest NFL players of all time (Bruce Smith) and a should-be Hall of Famer (Andre Reed).

Not to mention the numerous late-round successes that aren't listed.
Not to mention (as someone else also pointed out), the pick that was traded for Cornelius Bennett.

Your thread fails to make a point.  Even with all Polian's "misses" I still see numerous hits.  VERY big hits.  Numerous Hall of Fame-type hits.
Where are the big hits for Buddy?  Heck, where are the average hits for Buddy?  He's struggled to even get us solid starters in the draft.

Most of the 2010 draft has been a complete loss.  The lone exception being CJ Spiller.
The 2011 draft got us Dareus, who I still think has potential - and a couple low-end starters (A.Williams, Sheppard, Hairston).  Almost every one of those players has digressed in their second year.

To compare the two regimes is insane.
Polian took over the WORST team in football.  In 3 years, they were 12-4 and in the AFC Championship game.  In 5 years, they were in the Super Bowl.
Nix took over a perennial 6 or 7 win team.  In 3 years, the team appears to have made no progress.