Backdraft: Buffalo Bills

Backdraft: Buffalo Bills

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BACKDRAFT SERIES: For 16 days leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft, we're rolling out capsule draft histories of each of the 32 NFL Teams.



Backdraft Series
Apr. 12 - Packers | Steelers
Apr. 13 - Bears | Jets
Apr. 14- Patriots | Falcons
Apr. 15- Ravens | Seahawks
Apr. 16- Saints | Eagles
Apr. 17- Colts | Chiefs
Apr. 18- Buccaneers | Giants
Apr. 19- Chargers | Raiders
Apr. 20- Jaguars | Dolphins
Apr. 21- Rams | Lions
Apr. 22- Vikings | Texans
Apr. 23- Redskins | Cowboys
Apr. 24- Titans | 49ers
Apr. 25- Browns | Cardinals
Apr. 26- Bengals | Bills
Apr. 27- Broncos | Panthers
2011 Draft Position:
• 3


First-Ever NFL Draft Pick:

• Richie Lucas, QB, Penn State (1960). The AFL's first draft had a provision where each of the eight clubs received one "territorial" or "bonus" pick.


Most Recent Draft Pick:

• Kyle Calloway, G, Iowa (7th round, 216th overall, in 2010)


Hall of Famers Drafted:

Larry Wilson – 1960 (Also drafted in 7th Round - 74th overall – of the NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals
Billy Shaw - 2nd Round of 1961 AFL Draft (Also drafted in the 14th round - 184th overall - of NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.)
Carl Eller – 1st Round (5th overall), 1964. (Also drafted in 1st Round - 6th overall – of NFL Draft by Minnesota Vikings
Paul Warfield – 4th Round (28th overall), 1964. (Also drafted in 1st Round - 11th overall – of NFL Draft by Cleveland Browns
O.J. Simpson - 1st Round (1st overall), 1969
Joe DeLamielleure - 1st Round (26th overall), 1973
Jim Kelly - 1st Round (14th overall), 1983
Bruce Smith - 1st Round (1st overall), 1985
Thurman Thomas - 2nd Round (40th overall), 1988


First Overall Pick in the NFL Draft:

• 1985 – Bruce Smith, DE, Virginia Tech
• 1979 – Tom Cousineau, LB, Ohio State
• 1972 – Walt Patulski, DE, Notre Dame
• 1969 – O.J. Simpson, RB, Southern California
• 1961 – (AFL) Ken Rice, G, Auburn

Billy Shaw
Walt Patulski Thurman Thomas
Did you know?
Three years after selecting Heisman Trophy winner and future Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson, the Bills earned the dubious distinction (after finishing 1-13 in 1971) of getting the draft's first pick again. The draft crop in 1972 was referred to as "lean" and Buffalo ending up landing the player that was rumored to go No. 1, Notre Dame defensive end Walt Patulski.

He never developed into the star the Bills had hoped and was eventually traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. Interestingly, three other other players drafted in the first round by other teams that year eventually found themselves in Buffalo during their careers.

The Cincinnati Bengals selected DE Sherman White second overall, the Cardinals took Bobby Moore (aka Ahmad Rashad) as the fourth pick, and the Miami Dolphins landed DT Mike Kadish with the second to last selection of the first round.

After four years in Cincinnati, White joined Buffalo where he starred for eight seasons. Rashad led the Bills in receiving in his lone season in Buffalo in 1974. Kadish, a teammate of Patulski at Notre Dame, was obtained by the Bills in a trade after spending his entire rookie year on Miami's taxi squad. He was one of Buffalo's top defensive players of the '70s.



"Had we had a first-round choice we probably would have gone for someone else," shared Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy in recalling the 1988 NFL Draft.

"We badly needed a running back. Six running backs went off our board by the middle of the second round so we had to make a decision on a guy."

Fortunately for Levy and the Bills, they made the right choice when they selected Oklahoma State running back Thurman Thomas with the 13th pick of the second round, 40th overall.

Thomas sparked an offense that led the Bills to an unprecedented four straight AFC championships. He is the franchise's all-time leading rusher and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2007.

For the record, there were seven RBs that went before Thomas:
14. Gaston Green (Rams with a pick acquired from Buffalo); 17. John Stephens (Patriots); 22. Lorenzo White (Oilers); 23. Brad Muster (Bears); 24. Craig Heyward (Saints); 31. Ickey Woods (Bengals); 38. Tony Jeffery (Cardinals)



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Who in '11?

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