By Budd Bailey
Will Wolford of the Bills
Taken in Round 1 in 1986
The next pick: Tim McGee played nine years in the NFL, most of them with the Bengals. The wide receiver peaked in 1989 with 65 catches for 1,211 yards and eight touchdowns.
Other picks in the round: Bo Jackson is the most famous name in the group. He went first overall to Tampa Bay, but injuries cut his career short. Jim Everett (No. 3) was drafted by Houston but traded to the Rams, where he put up some good numbers at quarterback. Jim Dombrowski came out of Williamsville South High School to become the No. 6 overall pick with the Saints. He spent 11 years with New Orleans. Leslie O’Neal (No. 8) had 132.5 career sacks from his spot at defensive end, most of them with the Chargers.
The details; Will Wolford walked into the Bills’ training camp in 1986, and following him was quarterback Jim Kelly. That worked out well for both men. Wolford stayed in Buffalo through 1992 and made a couple of Pro Bowls. Then it was on to Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. Will played 191 games in the NFL, and started all 191 of them.
Other 20s: The Sabres gave Steve Patrick (1980) all sorts of chances to break through, but he couldn’t capitalize. He was dealt to the Rangers for Dave Maloney in 1984. Daniel Paille (2002) needed five years to break into the Sabres’ lineup. He peaked with 35 points in 2007-08, but was traded to the Bruins in 2009.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)