Thurman Thomas fell to the Bills in the 1988 NFL draft and the rest is history.
The 2016 NFL draft is 40 days away. Who have the Buffalo Bills drafted at pick 40?
Buffalo has drafted two players at pick 40. Here’s a look at the former Bills draft picks.
Thurman Thomas, RB, Oklahoma State (1988)
Arguably the greatest running back in Buffalo Bills history was selected 40th overall. He fell all the way to pick 40 due to a knee injury. Thomas ended up being the seventh running back selected in 1988 behind Gaston Green, John Stephens, Lorenzo White, Brad Muster, Ickey Woods, and Tony Jeffery. Green, Stephens, White, and Woods were all Pro Bowlers at some point in their career, but Thomas was the only Hall of Fame running back from the draft class.
In Buffalo, Thomas went on to rush for 11,938 yards and 65 touchdowns in his career. Both are first in Bills team history. In addition to being an outstanding rusher, Thomas was also tremendous in the passing game. Thomas caught 456 passes in his career for 4,341 yards and 22 touchdowns. His receiving yardage is sixth all-time and his reception total is third all-time with Buffalo.
Thomas appeared in all four Super Bowl games with the Bills and despite losing Super Bowl XXV, Thomas may have been most deserving of the game’s MVP award. He finished with 135 yards rushing with one touchdown and added an additional 55 yards in the receiving game.
As for Thomas’ accolades, there are almost too many to name. He led the AFC in rushing in 1990, 1991, and 1993 and was named to five consecutive Pro Bowl teams (1989-1993). Thomas was named to five All-Pro teams, won the NFL’s MVP in 1991, and was named the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in 1992.
In 2005, Thomas was added to Buffalo’s Wall of Fame. Two years later, the running back was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and in 2008, Thomas was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Today, Thomas is involved in many business ventures. He has roles with the 3480 Group, nrg, Scale, and 34 Rush Sports Bar. You can learn more about Thomas’ business ventures at his official website.
Dave Simmons, LB, Georgia Tech (1965)
Simmons was drafted by the Bills in the AFL draft, but he opted to play in the NFL. He played two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, one year with the New Orleans Saints, and one season with the Dallas Cowboys. He recorded two interceptions in his career.