Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Decade of drafts: Pats supreme, Fins worst
Last month, I took some heat for daring to say the Buffalo Bills were about average when it came to drafting under top college scout Tom Modrak.
I didn't claim the Bills were great, just a lot closer to mediocre than most of their fans might believe. Still, the sentiment struck a nerve. Bills fans, whether he was the one who made the pick or not, had been calling for Modrak's ouster for years because of several busted first- and second-round draft choices.
Those fans were thrilled last week, when the Bills dumped Modrak after 10 drafts.
But a decade-long draft analysis compiled by Cold, Hard Football Facts.com backed up my assertion.
In spite of some bombs, the Bills have been ordinary drafters overall. CHFF, with the help of Pro-Football-Reference.com metrics, broke down 10 years of drafts by counting up star players, longtime starters and promising young players.
The Bills graded out with a C. They rated ahead of 13 other clubs, including the New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins.
Bad trades, coaching decisions and the inability to re-sign free agents have been bigger contributors to Buffalo's 11-year playoff drought.
The New York Jets were only four spots above the Bills with a C-plus, although author Jonathan Comey pointed out the Jets' draft success was mitigated by their lack of selections over the past decade. The Jets often bundle their picks to move up, giving them fewer players to chart.
The Dolphins had the worst grade in the AFC East. They received a D and were lumped into the "Class Clowns" category with the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders.
As you might expect, the New England Patriots finished atop the heap as the "Valedictorian." Comey wrote the Patriots found at least one impact player every year and noted all of their first-round picks and 11 of their 14 second-round picks still were in the league last season.