Text
Facebook TwitterText
Share This: |

What Do Stats Say About The Bills' Recent Draft Picks?



The biggest night in Buffalo sports in 2013 may very well be on Thursday. The Bills have the eighth pick in the NFL draft. The pick could be the one that turns the franchise around or another selection that's looked back upon with regret.

The questions heading into the draft have mostly been surrounding whether the Bills will take a quarterback with their first-round pick, trade down or aim for a second-round QB.

But there's a question that hasn't been asked: Do Bills fans trust General Manager Buddy Nix to make the selection? Should they?

In a WGR-conducted study using a ProFootball Reference's Approximate Value metric (a stat very comparable to baseball's Wins Above Replacement), the Bills' draft picks ranked 29th in the NFL when compared to the production of the rest of the NFL during the last three drafts.

Since the 2010 draft, there have been 1,422 players picked in the NFL draft. The average Approximate Value of those picks is 4.8. The Bills have had an average AV pick of 3.5.

The best player selected since '10 in terms of AV is Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski with an AV of 36. There have also been 192 picks that have never played a down in the NFL, nine of which have played for the Bills.

The Bills' most valuable draft pick has been C.J. Spiller with an AV of 21, which is slightly above the average “best pick,” which is 20.6. Buffalo's average first-round pick over Nix's three years has been a 13.0, also above the average 12.6 average first founder.

What does it all mean?

There is a common saying that a draft class can not be evaluated until three years after it's completed. That luxury, however, does not exist in trying to gauge the most recent draft picks. So the numbers could change a great deal based on one or two players' performances in 2013.

However, there is enough of a sample to draw some conclusions. First, that the Bills do not have a great deal of recent picks who have performed at a high level early in their careers. Also that they have not built a strong core of young players despite having fairly high draft picks each year under Nix. And it means there is a great number of teams who have drafted higher performing players.

Does that mean Buddy Nix will make a blunder in the first round this year? The Bills' lack of stars drafted during his regime might hint toward yes, but we've seen what a quarterback or one star player like Gronkowski can mean to a franchise. So the Bills' poor AV figures could be turned on their head if Ryan Nassib or Geno Smith or Matt Barkley etc. etc. etc. turns into a superstar 30+ AV player.

Here is a link to all the Bills' draft picks during Nix (and beyond) - the list includes each player's AV.

Here are the Bills' top 5 AV players since 2010


1.CJ Spiller - 21
2. Marcell Dareus - 14
3. Kelvin Sheppard - 10
4. Chris Hariston - 8
5. Cordy Glenn - 6

(here is a link to a full, detailed explanation of Approximate Value. Here is a link to the All-Time AV list)

Here is the full research piece, including each team's best draft pick, their first-round picks' AV and “bogeys” (players who never took a snap in the NFL)


Team Av Total Picks AV per pick 1st Round AV 1st Round Picks AV per 1st Rd Pick Best Pick Best Pick AV Bogeys
League 6784 1422 4.8 2113 173 12.2   20.6 6.0
NE 189 28 6.8 56 4 14.0 R. Gronkowski 36 8
SEA 184 28 6.6 25 3 8.3 Earl Thomas 32 8
DEN 162 25 6.5 59 3 19.7 Von Miller 28 6
SF 145 25 5.8 60 3 20.0 Navarro Bowman 34 9
CLE 149 26 5.7 36 3 12.0 Jabaal Sheard 17 6
TB 134 24 5.6 30 3 10.0 Gerald McCoy 18 6
AZ 122 22 5.5 50 3 16.7 Patrick Peterson 33 6
MIA 127 23 5.5 34 3 11.3 Mike Pouncey 12 4
ATL 102 19 5.4 41 2 20.5 Julio Jones 22 5
CIN 147 27 5.4 42 3 14.0 Geno Atkins 33 10
OAK 116 23 5.0 16 1 16.0 Lamarr Houston 19 5
HOU 122 25 4.9 50 3 16.7 J.J. Watt 30 5
DAL 101 21 4.8 47 3 15.7 Dez Bryant 25 6
DET 87 19 4.6 41 3 13.7 N. Suh 32 4
TEN 112 25 4.5 24 3 8.0 Derrick Morgan 11 4
WAS 121 27 4.5 50 3 16.7 Trent Williams 18 7
CAR 109 24 4.5 42 2 21.0 Cam Newton 33 9
KC 106 24 4.4 29 3 9.7 Eric Berry 19 8
IND 100 23 4.3 30 3 10.0 Andrew Luck 13 6
CHI 67 16 4.2 8 2 4.0 J'Marcus Webb 15 7
JAC 70 17 4.1 33 3 11.0 Tyson Alualu 20 2
PIT 104 26 4.0 30 3 10.0 M. Pouncey 29 10
BAL 90 23 3.9 1 3 0.3 Torrey Smith 16 6
NYJ 67 18 3.7 34 3 11.3 M. Wilkerson 19 4
STL 100 27 3.7 35 3 11.7 Sam Bradford 20 10
PHI 122 33 3.7 20 3 6.7 Danny Watkins 8 9
BUF 98 28 3.5 39 3 13.0 CJ Spiller 21 9
MIN 93 27 3.4 30 3 10.0 Christian Ponder 16 8
NYG 68 22 3.1 34 3 11.3 J. Pierre-Paul 25 9
SD 64 21 3.0 40 3 13.3 Ryan Matthews 25 6


 

ADVERTISEMENT