By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 41: April 28, 1987The Bills trade a first-round draft choice in 1987 (Alonzo Highsmith) to Houston for a first-round draft choice in 1987 (Shane Conlan) and a second-round draft choice in 1987.

The 1987 NFL Draft featured two top prospects right at the top. Quarterback Vinny Testaverde and linebacker Cornelius Bennett went one-two, as expected. That left the Bills with the third pick. The Oilers had their eye on Alonzo Highsmith, and completed a trade to move up in the first round. The Bills slipped to No. 8 in the first round, and picked up a second-round choice in the transaction.

 Buffalo was happy about how that transaction turned out. Still waiting at No. 8 was Shane Conlan, a linebacker from Penn State who grew up in the Western New York village of Frewsburg. The Bills knew they wanted Conlan, but figured he’d still be available later in the first round. Plan B was to take defensive back Rod Woodson, who ended up in the Hall of Fame.

It all worked out well for Buffalo. Highsmith did little in the NFL, struggling in his three years with the Oilers. Conlan was a good fit for Buffalo, participating in three Pro Bowls in six seasons here. The other draft pick was part of a package that led to the Bills’ selection of Nate Odomes, who helped as well.

(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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