The Buffalo Bills have drafted 153 players since the 2000 draft and along the way there were numerous players that disappointed fans.
Below are the top five most disappointing players the Bills have drafted. These players are not necessarily busts because they may have gone off to have a productive career elsewhere, though most on the list are busts.
1. Marshawn Lynch – 2007, Round 1 Pick 12
Marshawn Lynch will probably be enshrined in the hall of fame one day, but not because of what he did for the Bills.
By no means was Lynch a bad player for the Bills. His rookie year he rushed for 1,115 yards and seven touchdowns. It was his most productive year for the team though. In his three seasons in Buffalo he totaled 17 touchdowns and 2,601 yards, according to profootballreference.com.
After week two weeks in the 2010 season, Lynch was traded to Seattle for a fourth-round pick in 2011 and a conditional pick in 2012, which the Bills turned into Chris Hairston and Tank Carder.
Once Lynch was in Seattle, he rushed for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns over the next four seasons and collected a super bowl trophy in 2014. He ran for 6,347 yards and 57 touchdowns over his six total seasons.
While Lynch was celebrating a super bowl win Buffalo fans were left wondering why he couldn’t produce like that for the Bills. Lynch’s legacy is legendary, but it leaves Bills fans wondering “what if?”
2. Aaron Maybin – 2009, Round 1 Pick 11
Aaron Maybin was projected as one of the top pass rushers in the 2011 draft. Maybin was a first team all Big 10 selection at Penn State during his redshirt sophomore year, accounting for 12 sacks and three forced fumbles.
However, Maybin was unable to tap into his potential and was massively underwhelming in Buffalo. In his rookie year, he had 16 total tackles and one forced fumble. Not exactly the type of production a fan expects with the 11th pick.
In his second year, he somehow got worse and recorded seven total tackles.
Buffalo cut Maybin during the preseason in 2011, only for him to sign with a division rival, the Jets.
Maybin has been out of the league since 2012 and is known as one of the biggest draft busts in Bills history.
3. Sammy Watkins – 2014, Round 1 Pick 4
Sammy Watkins career at One Bills Drive was nothing short of disappointing. In the 2014 draft, General Manager Russ Brandon sent the ninth overall pick, along with a first and fourth rounder in 2015 to the Cleveland Browns to select Watkins.
At Clemson, Watkins was a phenomenal talent and set a record with 240 catches in three seasons. Bills fans were expecting the 6-foot-1 receiver to be a superstar, but they were disappointed.
In Watkins’ rookie season, he set a Bills record for receiving yards with 982 and catches with 65. Fans were eager to see what the young sensation would do with the rest of his career.
However, the rest of his career in a Bills uniform would consist of two disappointing injury-plagued seasons. He feuded with fans on social media and was never fully healthy after his rookie year.
Watkins was eventually traded to the Los Angeles Rams with a sixth round pick for a second round pick and cornerback E.J. Gaines.
Watkins career was full of highs and lows in Buffalo, but Bills fans would agree that he was not worth all the draft capital.
4. J.P. Losman – 2004, Round 1 Pick 22
J.P. Losman was drafted to be a franchise quarterback and take over for Drew Bledsoe, but he would never play up to the caliber of his fellow class of 2004 quarterbacks – Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger.
During Losman’s first training camp he broke his femur when he collided with safety Troy Vincent. He would only attempt five passes his first season, one of which was intercepted.
In his second season, the Bills underwent a regime change and hired Mike Mularkey, who named Losman the starter. The second year quarterback was benched in the fifth game of the year in favor of veteran Kelly Holcomb, but Losman would return to the starting role after a Holcomb injury in week 10. Losman’s record in his first year as starter was only 1-7.
In Losman’s second year as starter, he would record a 7-9 record and throw for 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. This poor showing was the best in Losman’s disappointing career.
Losman was not resigned following two more seasons and only playing in a handful of games. He was out of the league after a season in Oakland and one in Miami. A disappointing end to a career with high expectations.
5. E.J. Manuel – 2013, Round 1 Pick 16
E.J. Manuel’s career record as a starting quarterback for the Bills was 6-12, not exactly the type of production expected in a first round quarterback.
Manuel actually had a decent rookie season, throwing for 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions while running for two more touchdowns. The Florida State product suffered an injury that caused him to miss several games his rookie year, but head coach Doug Marrone named him the starter for his sophomore season.
In his second year, Manuel went 2-2 as a starter, but lost his job to veteran Kyle Orton. Orton led the Bills to a 9-7 record and he retired after the season.
In year three, Manuel lost the starting job to Tyrod Taylor and it was clear he was not a franchise quarterback. Bills fans again had to endure the disappointment of a missed first round draft pick.
With the 2019 draft just a few weeks away, Bills fans everywhere are hopeful draft picks this year don’t disappoint in ways the players on this list did.