By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 81: May 29, 1986The Bills trade a second-round draft choice in 1986 (Garry James) and a third-round draft choice in 1986 (Tom Rathman) to San Francisco for a first-round draft choice in 1986 (Will Wolford) and a 10th-round draft choice in 1987 (Jim Ellis).

It’s always a gamble to trade into the first round, but the Bills rolled the dice on Draft Day in 1986 because they thought they saw somehow who could become a key piece of the team. They were right.

Will Wolford of Vanderbilt was the target. The offensive tackle cost the Bills a second-round pick and a third-round choice, but he was worth it. Wolford was in Buffalo for seven years, made two Pro Bowls, and was part of the team’s Glory Years in the early 1990s. Then he left for Indianapolis as a free agent, and continued a career that lasted six more years. Wolford never played in an NFL game he didn’t start (191).

San Francisco shipped the second-round pick to Detroit, who used it on Garry James – a running back who spent three years as a Lion. The 49ers kept Tom Rathman, an excellent receiver coming out of the backfield (320 catches in a nine-year career).

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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