Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton are two of our Fine Nine here at Buffalo Rumblings - guys we think have a shot to be drafted third overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. We thought it was worth noting, however, that through a series of random occurrences, the Buffalo Bills have never drafted a quarterback with their first selection in a draft. Sort of.
About a month ago, we took a look at every quarterback ever drafted by the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have only selected two quarterbacks in the first round since 1967, and both were the team's second pick of the year. In 1983, Jim Kelly was selected No. 15 overall, but two spots earlier the team took tight end Tony Hunter. Hunter flamed out before being traded.
In 2004, J.P. Losman was the No. 22 overall pick for the Bills, but the team acquired that pick by moving up in the draft after selecting WR Lee Evans at No. 13. Losman was the fourth quarterback off the board, and was not re-signed once his rookie contract expired.
There is one asterisk. In November of 1959, the eight AFL teams got together for their first draft, but it was before scouting departments traveled nationwide to search for the best talent nationally. It wasn't a traditional draft, but rather a "territorial draft" - each team was allowed to pick one player that would add a local draw to help their attendance.
The picks in this territorial draft didn't go in order; rather, the eight teams came to a consensus about the eight players that would go to which team. The Bills, therefore, may not have wanted a Penn State quarterback when they ended up with quarterback Richie Lucas, but that's who the eight teams communally decided would help the team draw fans.
Lucas played only two seasons for Buffalo, starting four games, before the team acquired Jack Kemp.