Friday, April 29, 2005

At least they didn't take Tony Mandarich....

So, last week witnessed the two-day event when several hundred young, athletic men learn their fate as they prepare to end their days of apprenticeship and assume the mantle of Manhood. Yup, it was the annual NFL Draft. Previously I expressed the strong hope that the Bills would draft for the offensive line, or help the line by pulling the trigger on a trade involving disgruntled running back Travis Henry for either an extra pick or an offensive lineman.

So, it of course stands to reason that Bills GM Tom Donahoe, as has been his history, did neither. In the draft's opening day, when the Bills did not pick until late in the second round (remember, they traded this year's first-rounder away last year to grab J.P. Losman), and then used their two, and only two, opening-day picks to take a wide receiver and a tight end.

I don't get this. I really, truly don't. The Bills spent their first pick last year on a WR (Lee Evans, who had an excellent rookie year), and they have two tight ends right now who, although getting over injuries, are apparently quite promising. What the Bills also have is a second-year quarterback who is stepping into the starting job behind an offensive line that really hasn't been all that good in quite a while, and which lost one of its stalwart veterans to free agency this year (Jonas Jennings). The idea, I guess, is to surround Losman with weapons; I guess they're not going for a "have the rookie hand it off a whole lot" approach, and that makes sense to a point, but I'm generally of the belief that football games are won or lost by the big guys you have in the trenches, and as far as I can see, the Bills are taking entirely too much of a risk in doing so little to replace the two huge guys on their lines (the other being defensive lineman Pat Williams, now a Viking via free agency).

Tell me, Steelers fans – were Tom Donahoe's drafts for you guys as completely flummoxing?

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