In case you hadn't heard, the 2016 NFL Draft is coming up in two weeks. The Buffalo Bills have eight picks in the draft; two each in the fourth and sixth rounds, one each in the first, second, third, and fifth rounds, and none in the seventh round.
As with any draft, the later rounds will likely yield some quality players. Since the first common draft (after the AFL-NFL merger agreement) in 1967, there have been quality, tenured pro players selected at each position the Bills will be picking in this draft. Here's a look at what kind of players the team and their fans can
reasonably hope for come draft time, starting with the No. 19 overall pick (and continuing with future posts for the rest of the selections).
Round 1, No. 19 overall
- 2015: OL Cameron Erving (Cleveland)
- Most recent Bills pick: WR Perry Tuttle (1982)
- Other notables: WR Marvin Harrison (1996), OG Randall McDaniel (1988), DB Roger Wehrli (1969)
Harrison, McDaniel, and Wehrli are all members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (counting Harrison's impending induction this August). In all, the spot has produced 12 Pro Bowl players, including former league MVP Shaun Alexander (2000) and former Bills free agency target Antonio Cromartie (2006). If the Bills end up with a pass rusher, as many expect they will, the current gold standard for sacks out of the No. 19 spot is the 82.5 from Wayne Martin, selected in 1989.
The Bills have picked here twice in the past, and neither player worked out very well. In 1975, the Bills selected Nebraska linebacker Tom Ruud, whose most notable contribution to the team in three seasons was the fact that he returned seven kickoffs. In 1982, the Bills gave up a fourth-round pick to move up two spots for Tuttle, the Clemson wideout whose peak season saw him catch 17 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns. Fortunately, the other Clemson receiver the Bills traded up to draft has worked out quite a bit better for the team.