In 1996, the Buffalo Bills selected 24th thanks to a playoff run in 1995. The team added Mississippi State wideout Eric Moulds on this date 15 years ago.
Current Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix was an area scout for the team, scouring the southeast United States for talent. With Moulds, Nix and then-GM John Butler found a solid contributor in the year of the wide receiver. Keyshawn Johnson went first overall, followed by Terry Glenn (seventh), Eddie Kennison (18th), Marvin Harrison (19th), and Moulds (24th).
Moulds' first two seasons were pedestrian, but in 1998 the mantle was passed from Andre Reed to Moulds as the top receiver in the Bills' arsenal. Partnering with quarterback Doug Flutie, Moulds caught 67 balls for 1,368 yards, which still stands as the team record. Moulds and Flutie went to the Pro Bowl, and the Bills went to the playoffs.
Moulds holds three of the top five receiving seasons in team history in yards, three of the top six in terms of receptions including the only 100-catch season in team annals, and is second in team history in games played, receptions, yards, and receiving touchdowns.
Ten years later on April 6th, 2006, Moulds was traded to the Houston Texans for a fifth-round draft choice. He ended his career in Buffalo with three Pro Bowls.
Other notable selections in 1996 include OLB Gabe Northern, OL Dusty Zeigler, and TE Jay Riemersma. Second-rounder Northern started 35 games for the Bills adding 10.5 sacks to 83 tackles in four seasons. Sixth-round selection Dusty Zeigler started 44 games on Buffalo's offensive line before going to a Super Bowl with the Giants. Seventh-round pick Riemersma played six seasons in Buffalo putting up the second-best numbers in team history at the position. We interviewed him a year ago during his failed Congressional run.