Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Bills winners & losers from 2014 draft
By Mike Rodak
As the dust settles from the Buffalo Bills' draft, let's examine the "winners" and "losers" based off the Bills' decisions in the draft:
EJ Manuel: Second-year quarterback gets the best receiver in the draft, and one of the best overall players available. Thursday night had to feel like Christmas morning for Manuel.
Scott Chandler: Chandler took a pay cut to return to the Bills after testing the free-agent waters. Had the Bills stayed put at No. 9, he likely would have faced competition from Eric Ebron. Now he should feel more comfortable as the starter at tight end.
Tony Moeaki: Likewise with Chandler, Moeaki now has a significant chance to make the final roster after the Bills passed up on drafting a tight end. He'll still need to prove he can return to pre-injury form.
Duke Williams & Da'Norris Searcy: With Jairus Byrd gone, these two players could have the first shot at replacing him in the starting lineup. The Bills didn't add a safety in the draft, only helping their cause.
Stevie Johnson: After the Bills replaced his spot at the top of the depth chart with Sammy Watkins, the veteran receiver joins one of the NFL's best teams and returns home to Northern California.
T.J. Graham: Drafting Watkins means that Graham's roster spot is tenuous. After two seasons, the former third-round pick hasn't panned out yet. He'll need to carve a role on special teams or find himself buried on the depth chart.
Erik Pears and Chris Hairston: Hairston started eight games in 2012 and Pears started all 16 games last season. The pair of right tackles could be out of work if Cyrus Kouandjio emerges from training camp as the starter at that position.
Anthony Dixon: After four seasons in San Francisco, Dixon signed a three-year deal likely with the thinking he'd have a shot to get carries behind Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Now he faces competition from Bryce Brown.
Ron Brooks: Like Graham, Brooks was a 2012 draft choice who could be out of a job by the end of the summer. The former fourth-round pick is buried on the depth chart after the Bills signed Corey Graham and drafted Ross Cockrell.
Bills scouts: Unheralded and often under-appreciated, scouts will go back on the road this summer knowing that the Bills won't have a first-round pick next season. That has to be deflating, as scouts know that the Bills are unlikely to have access to the top-tier of players in next year's draft.