By Budd Bailey
Reggie McKenzie of the Bills
Taken in Round 2 in 1972.
The next pick: Defensive back Ralph McGill also returned punts during his eight-year career, mostly in San Francisco.
Other picks in that round: It was a good year and a good round for running backs. The list includes Lydell Mitchell of the Colts, Robert Newhouse of the Cowboys add Jim Bertelsen of the Rams, and Cornell’s Ed Marinaro of the Jets. Chester Marcol proved memorable, because kickers usually don’t go in the second round.
The details: Bills coach Lou Saban was determined to build the team’s offensive line to provide blocking for O.J. Simpson. McKenzie was a great choice. He turned into the emotional center of the group, dubbed “The Electric Company” because “they turned on the Juice.” McKenzie started 147 games as a Bill, finishing his career in 1983-84 in Seattle.
Other 27s: Tre’Davious White might be on his way to taking this spot over if he continues his level of play at cornerback in years to come. He’s been in two Pro Bowls in four seasons. John Fina spent 10 years playing offensive tackle for the Bills; most of them were in the 1990s. Jeff Burris played 10 years in the NFL, the first four coming in Buffalo. Doug Allen was a linebacker for two years (1974-75), and then spent 25 years working for the NFL Players Association. Bill Enyart was supposed to play fullback to O.J. Simpson’s halfback whe they were drafted together, but it didn’t work out. Cory Sarich was considered a top prospect for the Sabres. He was traded to Tampa Bay in the 2000 deal for Wayne Primeau, and then won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004. He played hockey through 2014. Scott Self broke in with the Bandits in 2001, and then returned 10 years later for three good seasons.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)