EJ Manuel was drafted 16th overall in 2013.
The 2016 NFL draft is 16 days away. Who have the Buffalo Bills drafted at pick 16?
Buffalo has drafted four players at pick 16. Here’s a look at the former Bills draft picks.
EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State (2013)
“I've said from Day 1 this quarterback class is better than everybody thinks it is. It's better than the publicity they get.” –Buddy Nix, Bills GM, before the 2013 NFL draft
Buddy Nix was wrong.
Buffalo traded back in the 2013 NFL draft and selected Manuel 16th overall. He was the first quarterback taken off the board in what may turn out to be the worst quarterback class ever.
As a rookie, Manuel started in 10 games and had a QB record of 4-6. He had some bright moments as a rookie, such as a late comeback win against the Panthers and a convincing win against the Jets. Manuel ended up missing six games as a rookie due to knee injuries.
In his second season, Manuel helped the Bills start the season 2-0 with wins over the Bears and Dolphins. However, after poor performances against the Chargers and Texans, Manuel was benched in favor of Kyle Orton. He didn’t attempt another pass over the final 12 games of the season.
Last year, Manuel competed for the starting job against Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel. At times, Manuel fell to third on the depth chart but he finished the season as Taylor’s backup. He made two starts during the season when Taylor was injured and the Bills went 0-2.
The 2016 season will most likely be Manuel’s last with Buffalo.
James Williams, DB, Fresno State (1990)
Williams was on Buffalo’s roster during their Super Bowl runs. In his four seasons in Buffalo, Williams appeared in 54 games and made 28 starts. The defensive back recorded seven interceptions, as well as two fumble recoveries.
In addition to playing for Buffalo, Williams also spent time with the Cardinals and 49ers.
Ronnie Harmon, RB, Iowa (1986)
Harmon never rushed for over 500 yards with the Bills, but he was a legitimate threat as a receiver. His best season with the Bills came in 1987 when he rushed for 485 yards on 116 yards (4.2 YPC) and added another 487 yards on 56 receptions.
In his four seasons with the Bills, Harmon rushed for 968 yards and added 1,452 yards receiving. Unfortunately for Harmon, he’ll always be remembered for failing to make a catch in a 1989 AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Cleveland Browns. The reception would have won the game for the Bills.
After his time in Buffalo was over, Harmon played for the San Diego Chargers, Houston Oilers, Tennessee Oilers, and Chicago Bears. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1992 with San Diego. That season, Harmon rushed for 235 yards but added 914 yards on 79 receptions. He had back-to-back 70-plus reception seasons with the Chargers.
Harmon finished his career with 2,774 rushing yards and 6,076 receiving yards in his career.
Jim Ritcher, G, North Carolina St. (1980)
Ritcher had an amazing career with the Bills. He was with the team from 1980-1993 and was a starter by 1983. In his career in Buffalo, Ritcher appeared in 203 games and made 167 starts. He was a member of all four Super Bowl teams and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1991 and 1992.
Ritcher left Buffalo in 1993 and spent two seasons with the Falcons. He appeared in 15 games, but did not record any starts.
Ritcher was added to Buffalo’s Wall of Fame in 2004 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
These days, Ritcher is a commercial pilot. Although his NFL career has been over for many years, it’s possible that another Ritcher finds a home in Buffalo. Nick Ritcher, Jim’s son, will be in the 2016 NFL draft.
He’s projected as a day three pick/UDFA. Having another Ritcher in a Bills jersey wouldn’t be a bad thing by any means.