Grading the Buffalo Bills’ 2010 NFL Draft: Ed Wang

Ed Wang hoped to find success as the NFL’s first Chinese-American player, but his career with the Buffalo Bills lasted only one season. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot

Buffalo Bills Draft’s fifth installment of “Grading the Buffalo Bills’ 2010 NFL Draft” takes a look at offensive tackle Ed Wang.

Round 5, Pick 140: Ed Wang, OT, Virginia Tech

The Buffalo Bills finally addressed their offensive line in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL draft by selecting offensive tackle Ed Wang of Virginia Tech.

In 2009, Buffalo’s offensive line gave up a total of 50 sacks, third-worst in the NFL according to Advanced NFL Stats. In addition to the sacks, the team also allowed 97 quarterback hits which was the second-highest total in the league. The Bills needed help on their line, and hoped that Wang would add depth.

Here is what NFL.com’s draft profile said about Wang:

Wang is a second generation Chinese-American whose parents were Olympians for the Chinese Olympic team in the ‘70s. He is a starting left tackle for a major college program and is still learning the finer points of playing on the offensive line after moving from the tight end position in 2006. He has good initial quickness as well as downfield speed but is not a natural knee bender and tends to let his pad level get too high. He can be inconsistent in his blocking angles and does not finish his blocks off as well as you’d like.

Collegiate Career (Information from HokieSports.com)

Wang joined Virginia Tech in 2005, but was redshirted by the team. He worked at tight end during his redshirt season and caught two passes for 28 yards at the team’s first spring scrimmage.

In 2006, Wang was still practicing primarily at tight end. It wasn’t until offensive tackle Brandon Frye became injured that Wang started taking reps at tackle.

When spring practices rolled around for the 2007 season, Wang officially made the move over to offensive tackle. Wang suffered a broken fibula leading up to the season, but was practicing again by September. He saw his first action on October 13th against Duke at right tackle. Including the Duke game, Wang finished the season by starting the final eight games of the season at right tackle for the Hokies.

Leading up to the 2008 season, Wang was shifted over to left tackle at spring practices. He started all 14 games for the Hokies and played over 960 snaps.

Heading into his senior season in 2009, Wang was given the Team United Award at spring practices. This award was given to an offensive player that put the team first. Wang started 13 games in 2009 and earned second team all-ACC honors.

What the Draft Analysts Said Following the 2010 NFL Draft

Mel Kiper of ESPN believed that Wang had a chance to eventually contribute (Insider Subscription Needed) for the Bills, but believed the team should have addressed their offensive line much earlier in the draft:

Then a wide receiver pick (Marcus Easley) left the Bills looking for a long shot breakthrough at tackle. Edward Wang of Virginia Tech has a chance, but even if you love the Spiller pick, I think Buffalo needed to aim for talent up front.

Jon Dove graded picks from the 2010 draft’s third day for CBSSports.com. Dove gave Buffalo a D- for their selection of Wang in Round 5:

Ed Wang really looked lost at the Senior Bowl. Brandon Graham really make him look silly. I hope the Bills are not looking for him to contribute because he needs a lot of work.

Buffalo Bills Career

When Buffalo selected Wang in Round 5, history was made. Wang became the first Chinese-American player to be drafted into the NFL.

To Wang’s credit, he believed he had to perform for this history to matter:

“My objective is to be a football player in the NFL. If I don’t play, it’s not going to matter if I was the first Chinese-American player in the NFL because I didn’t do anything. My perspective is I have to accomplish something first.”

In Wang’s case, there is not much to discuss in regards to his performance with the Bills. In his rookie season, Wang had to have thumb surgery in August.

Then-head coach Chan Gailey said the surgery went well and added:

“It depends on how quickly things heal,” Gailey told BuffaloBills.com. ”I would say the best we’re talking about is four (weeks) and the worst we’re talking about is eight (weeks), but don’t hold me to either one of those.”

He finished his first NFL season by playing in six games (Week 10-15). During these games, he saw snaps at offensive guard.

In 2011, Wang was waived in November after starting the season on the injured reserve.

Following his Bills career, Wang was signed by the Oakland Raiders in 2012. He was placed on the injured reserve by the team with a shoulder injury. He was released by the Raiders on September 5th.

In February of this year, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Wang to a two-year deal.

Final Grade: F

When a player is drafted in the fifth round, there are no guarantees that they’ll make the roster. That said, Wang’s inability to stay healthy, lack of time on the field and short Bills career led to a failing grade. Buffalo simply took a shot on a player that hasn’t panned out in the NFL to this point.

Previous 2010 NFL Draft Grades:

C.J. Spiller, RB

Torell Troup, DT

Alex Carrington, DE

Marcus Easley, WR

Tags: 2010 NFL Draft, Draft Grades, Ed Wang, Virginia Tech

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