By Budd Bailey
Eric Moulds of the Bills
Taken in Round 1 in 1996
The next pick: Offensive lineman Jermane Mayberry was grabbed by Philadelphia. He played nine years with the Eagles and one with the Saints.
Other picks in the round: The name after Mayberry on the draft list does jump out: Ray Lewis. He’s in the Hall of Fame for his work as a linebacker with Baltimore. Marvin Harrison (No. 19 to Indianapolis) and Jonathan Ogden (No. 4 to Baltimore) also are enshrined in Canton. Keyshawn Johnson went first to the Jets, and had more than 10,000 yards receiving. Lawrence Phillips went sixth to the Cardinals, despite a troubled past. He only played three seasons in the NFL.
The details: The Bills went looking for a deep threat at wide receiver, and Moulds (from Mississippi State) soon turned into a great one. He became a full-time starter in 1998, and went on to have four 1,000-yard receptions between 1998 and 2004. Eric caught 100 passes in 2002, his third Pro Bowl season. Moulds spent his last two seasons with Houston andTennessee.
Other 24s: Jay Thorimbert probably was the best faceoff specialist in Bandits’ history. He was drafted by Buffalo in 2006, but didn’t actually play here until 2011. Jay had six productive years here. Randy Mearns suited up for the Bandits in 1993 and 2002, and is still around the team as its radio analyst. Cornell Warner played about 20 minutes a game in the first two seasons as a Brave at strong forward.
He got away: Al Atkinson was a third-round pick of the Bills in 1965. He was cut in traning camp without playing a game. Al landed with the Jets, and was the middle linebacker of the team that won Super Bowl III.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)