By Budd Bailey
Butch Byrd of the Bills
Taken in Round 4 in 1964
The next pick: Defensive lineman Ed Lothamer from Michigan State spent eight years with the Chiefs, usually as a reserve.
Other picks in the round: Jon Morris wasn’t just a local pick out of Holy Cross by the Patriots. He played 15 years, and was 7 for 7 in Pro Bowls for Boston. The Chargers took wide receiver Dave Parks, but he signed with San Francisco after going first in the NFL draft.
The details: The Bills couldn’t have asked for more out of a fourth-round draft choice. He immediately won a starting job at cornerback in 1964, and remained in that spot through 1970. Byrd played seven seasons, appeared in five All-Star games, and had at least four interceptions in all seven of those years. Injuries got in the way from there, but it was a great run.
Other 25s: The Bills used Stew Barber at linebacker in his rookie season, and then moved him to offensive tackle. The move worked; Barber played in five straight All-Star Games and stayed through 1969. Larry Carriere spent two and a half seasons on the Sabres’ blue line before he was traded to Atlanta for Jacques Richard. Jerome Thompson, part of one of the great families in lacrosse, spent two seasons with the Bandits.
He got away: The Bills couldn’t sign offensive tackle Randy Jackson in 1966. We went to the Bears and played eight seasons there.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)