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; we started with Round 1, and move on to Rounds 2-3 today.
Round 2, No. 49 overall
- 2015: G Mitch Morse (Kansas City)
- Most recent Bills pick: DB Chris Williams (1981)
- Other notables: RB Roger Craig (1983), WR DeSean Jackson (2008), C Max Unger (2009)
The next Hall-of-Famer selected 49th overall will be the first, although the dual-threat Craig has received some consideration over the years as a key figure of San Francisco's 1980's dynasty teams. Eight players from the spot have made the Pro Bowl, and players went without a Pro Bowl nod in their careers yet were still very productive players. Randall Godfrey (1996) was a long-time starter at linebacker for Dallas, and LaMont Jordan (2001) had a nice run as a rotational back for the Raiders and Jets.
If the Bills target a quarterback here, one can only hope that player will turn out better than the only quarterback picked at No. 49 thus far, Kellen Clemens (2006). The career backup (who is somehow still in the NFL) has thrown for just over 4,000 yards in 10 seasons with three different teams, and currently is preparing to start his third season as Philip Rivers' backup in San Diego.
Williams, on the other hand, failed to make an impact in three seasons with the Bills. The LSU product didn't crack the starting lineup until 1983, when he recorded three interceptions. Those were the only three of his career, though, as he was out of football before the 1984 season rolled around.
Round 3, No. 80 overall
- 2015: DB Alex Carter (Detroit)
- Most recent Bills pick: N/A
- Other notables: OT Art Shell (1968), G Bob Kuechenberg (1969), LB Bill Romanowski (1988)
Shell, the standout tackle from John Madden's Raiders teams that went on to become a head coach and league executive, is the only HOF representative from the group. Five of the players appeared in a Pro Bowl, including Tampa Bay kicker Martin Gramatica (1999), a fairly decent target to strive for for a player like Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo.
A few other decent players have been picked 80th overall. Darrell Jackson (2000) was a top receiving target in Seattle during the Matt Hasselbeck era. The immortal Karim Abdul-Jabbar (1996) ran for over 1,100 yards as a rookie, and linebacker Derek Smith (1997) started 12 or more games 11 times.
This pick will be the Bills' first at No. 80 overall. In fact, the only player in the group who played for the Bills at all was defensive back Dustin Fox (2005), a Minnesota draftee who appeared in 11 games with the Bills over two seasons and failed to make an impact.