Fred Smerlas, a 5x Pro Bowler. is one of three 32nd overall picks of the Buffalo Bills.
The 2016 NFL draft is 32 days away. Who have the Buffalo Bills drafted at pick 32?
Buffalo has drafted three players at pick 32. Here’s a look at the former Bills draft picks.
Fred Smerlas, NT, Boston College (1979)
Smerlas and Jim Haslett were both selected by the Bills in the second round of the 1979 NFL draft. The duo, along with Shane Nelson, would form the “Bermuda Triangle” in Buffalo.
Smerlas’ career in Buffalo lasted from 1979 to 1989. He recorded 107 consecutive starts with Buffalo, a record for a nose tackle. During that span of time, the nose tackle played in 162 games and recorded 152 starts. Smerlas was named to five Pro Bowl teams with the Bills, and made four consecutive appearances from 1980-1983. He recorded 18.5 sacks, 10 fumble recoveries, one touchdown, and two interceptions with Buffalo.
The nose tackle would play for the 49ers in 1990 and with the New England Patriots from 1991-1992.
Smerlas is a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. He was named to Buffalo’s Silver Anniversary Team, as well as the team’s 50th Anniversary Team, and is a member of the Wall of Fame.
Dee Hardison, DE, North Carolina (1978)
One year before drafting Smerlas, the Bills selected Hardison 32nd overall. Hardison lasted three seasons with the Bills. He recorded 18 starts in 48 games with the Bills. Hardison went on to spend five seasons with the New York Giants, two seasons with the Chargers, and one season with the Chiefs. Hardison’s best season came in 1986 when he recorded 6.5 sacks.
He was named to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. According to his bio on the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame website, Hardison works in sales.
Jeff Winans, G, USC (1973)
Winan played two seasons with the Bills over three years and recorded three starts in 20 games played. Pro Football Reference lists Winans as a guard, tackle, defensive end, and defensive tackle. In addition to playing with Buffalo, Winans spent one season (1976) with the Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints, and two years (1977-1978) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although Winans did not play in any games with the Raiders, he was given a Super Bowl ring for being a member of the team.
Winans passed away in 2012. During his life, he displayed many emotional and behavioral issues associated with concussions and head trauma. His story, a must-read, can be found on the Concussion Legacy Foundation website.