While looking at the Bills’ all time draft list, it’s clear that the team does a terrible job at drafting Kickers and Punters. Although these two positions may not be the flashiest, they are incredibly important. Just take a look at the good teams in the NFL, they do not settle for sub par players at any position, these two positions included. That being said, lets start with the Bills history of drafting Punters.
The Bills have only drafted 4 designated Punters in their franchise history, and their names are: John Kidd, John Nies, Brian Doherty and Greg Cater. If you don’t recognize the names, do not be alarmed because there are few who can. To pick the best out of these four, it’s pretty easy.
John Kidd played six seasons for Buffalo and finished his career playing in 215 games total. He had a career punting average of 41.5 yards a career long at 67 yards. A very average career stat line, but it blows the next man in line out of the water (Greg Cater with a 38.7 yd. avg. in only 77 career games).
Brian Moorman has to be in the minds of most people reading this, a 2x All-Pro with a career average of 44 yards and a career long of 84. Yes, the punter of the 2000’s NFL All-Decade team is very good, but he was never drafted by the Bills. He was signed by the Seahawks in 1999 as an undrafted free agent and didn’t make his way to Buffalo until 2001.
The story with drafted kickers in Buffalo is no better. Out of the 14 kickers drafted in Bills franchise history, only 6 ever touched an NFL field. Out of those 6 men, no one played more than two seasons with Buffalo after being drafted. Well, after that mess who could be the best kicker ever drafted by the Bills?
Gary Anderson. That’s right, the 1980’s and 1990’s NFL All-Decade team kicker was drafted by the Bills in 1982 out of Syracuse. He was cut by the Bills before the next season began and picked up by the Steelers a few days after that, starting his illustrious career. Captain Hindsight didn’t come to the rescue in time for the Bills that year, I guess.
The Buffalo Bills history of drafting kickers and punters is almost as bad as their recent playoff drought. Atrocious is a good word for it. But wait, these positions don’t matter that much though right? Maybe this is a tiny example of how each position does hold importance in the draft, even kickers and punters.
It doesn’t have to be every year, but you would think at least ONE year out of the Bills 50+ year existence they would of drafted a gem and (and kept them) at these positions. I mean, it only took until the mid 80’s to finally get a franchise quarterback, so I guess we could still be waiting a while.
At least the Bills have recently acquired fantastic players at both P/K through other means than the draft, as free agency has really helped our special teams over the last year. Dan Carpenter has been a fantastic thing and welcoming back All-Pro Brian Moorman is a sight that no Bills fan can ignore as something special. As far as the Bills draft history at these spots, up is the only way to go from here (hopefully).