Buffalo Bills go boom-or-bust in the NFL Draft

4/29/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

The Bills grabbed another player with a sketchy off-field past in the fourth round, selecting NC State safety Duke Williams, who was suspended three times as a freshman. He has stayed out of trouble since, but his character concerns were reportedly serious enough to drop his draft stock. The Bills appear to be hoping to turn Williams into a nickel cornerback, adding to the risk/reward nature of the pick.

In the seventh round, the Bills opted for undersized speedster Chris Gragg, a tight end from Arkansas. Gragg led all tight ends at the combine with a 4.50 forty-yard dash, and also posted top-five results among tight ends in vertical jump, broad jump, and three-cone drill. However, Gragg has shown minimal promise as a potential in-line blocker, which hurts his stock as a tight end. Teams are also concerned with his injury history. An explosive linear athlete, Gragg could still make an impact as an H-back. At the point in the draft when the Bills selected him, Gragg was well worth the risk, but was a risk nonetheless.
Nov 19, 2011; Knoxville,TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers (21) rushes against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the second half at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee defeated Vanderbilt 27-21 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
The Bills' haul of boom-or-bust prospects wasn't over when the draft concluded. They signed undrafted free agent Da'Rick Rogers, receiver from Tennessee Tech. After leading the SEC in receptions, Rogers was dismissed from the Tennessee football team due to marijuana related issues. I rated him as the fourth best receiver in this draft based strictly on game tape and talent, but his character is obviously a huge question mark. He could be a starter by the time the 2013 season kicks off, but if he continues to get into trouble, NFL teams won't put up with him.

These players could turn the Bills into a contender some day, particularly on offense with Manuel, Woods, Goodwin, and Rogers. However, if these prospects fail to boom and all bust, this draft haul could be a significant step back for a franchise that hasn't made the playoffs since 1999.
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