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Bills Draft Gems, No. 6: OG Ruben Brown

With the 2011 NFL Draft quickly approaching, we thought it'd be a good idea to run down the Buffalo Bills' ten biggest draft successes and failures. I decided at the last minute to make this an "of my lifetime" series, meaning that the only busts and gems that you'll see listed here every day were picked in 1985 or after.

As a general rule, offensive guards do not get selected in the top half of the first round of the NFL Draft. In fact, since the Bills picked Ruben Brown with the No. 14 overall pick in the 1995 NFL Draft, only one more true guard has received that honor (Chris Naeole). Sure, several other highly-drafted tackles have ended up at guard, but the point remains: guards aren't drafted that early to play guard.

When you're drafting a guard that early, you'd better be sure that the player is exceptional. That's exactly what Brown was in his illustrious 13-year career. He was Buffalo's starting left guard from day one, and had earned the first of his nine Pro Bowl berths (which included a streak of eight straight years) by the end of his second professional season.

When it was all over with, Brown played nine seasons for the Bills, then four more for the Chicago Bears. He started 181 games in his career, and despite being the exception to the draft-day rule, he proved to be an outstanding investment for the Bills in 1995.

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