When researching the draft history of the Buffalo Bills, you find some interesting facts and tidbits. While there are many facts to share, here are 10 of our favorite Bills draft facts.
1. Two all-time great Bills were drafted in 1983: HOF QB Jim Kelly and LB Darryl Talley. Both players had long careers that ended in 1996, but another player from Buffalo’s draft class that year had a longer career. Trey Junkin, selected in the fourth round, actually played until 2002. In his final season, Junkin botched a snap in a Wild Card matchup that cost the New York Giants a chance to defeat the San Francisco 49ers.
2. In the 17th round of the 1973 NFL draft, the Bills drafted John “Bad Dude” Stearns. The 423rd pick of the draft actually went on to have a pretty solid career… with the New York Mets. Stearns played one season with the Phillies before being traded to the Mets. In New York, Stearns made four All-Star games (1977, 1979, 1980, 1982). He really was one “Bad Dude.”
3. Buffalo’s first supplemental draft pick came in 1979. The team drafted a running back from Kentucky named Rod Stewart. It’s not THAT Rod Stewart, but it just goes to show you that Some Guys Have All the Luck.
4. Joe Ferguson, a third round draft pick in 1973, started all 14 games with the Bills as a rookie. Over the course of the season, Ferguson attempted 164 passes and finished the season with 73 completions. This works out to about five completions per game. Why were his totals so low as a rookie? The 1973 season was the year O.J. Simpson rushed for 2,003 yards and 12 touchdowns on 332 carries.
5. Billy Shaw, a Bills draft pick in 1961, is the only player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame without ever playing in the NFL. Shaw’s entire career was played in the AFL. His dominant play in the AFL included eight AFL All-Star appearances, two AFL championships, eight All-AFL teams, and a member of the AFL All-Time team.
6. In 1969, the Bills drafted QB James Harris in the eighth round (pick 192). That season, Harris started for the Bills in Week 1 becoming the first African American to start on opening day in professional football history.