By Budd Bailey
Eric Wood of the Bills
Taken in Round 1 in 2009
The next pick: Hakeem Nicks became a good wide receiver for the Giants. He peaked with thousand-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011, and played seven years in all.
Other picks in that round: The Lions got it right by taking Matthew Stafford first overall that year. The other quarterbacks taken in the first round that year were Mark Sanchez (No. 5) by the Jets and Josh Freeman (No. 17) to the Buccaneers. Defensive back Malcolm Jenkins (No. 14) played in three Pro Bowls after leaving New Orleans for Philadelphia. Clay Matthews (No. 26) had a nice run with the Packers before leaving for the Rams. Wide receiver Percy Harvin (No. 22) spent two seasons as a reserve with the Bills.
The details: Buffalo had two picks in the first round in 2009; this is the choice that worked out well. Wood spent two years at offensive guard, and then moved to center through 2017. Eric played in 120 games as a member of the Bills, and started every single one of them. He was forced to retire early because of a neck injury, and eventually moved into the Bills’ radio booth to serve as an analyst.
Other 28s: Thomas Smith was a good defensive back for the Bills throughout the 1990s. He finished his career with the Bears and Colts. Booker Moore was a first-round pick in 1981, but missed his first year when he was diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome. He played for three seasons after that, but chances to carry the ball were few.
They got away: Realistically, the Bills weren’t going to outbid the Browns for Paul Warfield’s services in 1964. Cleveland’s top pick was a simple elegant wide receiver who played in eight Pro Bowls (seven of them in a row). Warfield is in the Hall of Fame. Tom Woodeshick was a pesky halfback who spent 10 years in the NFL, mostly with Philadelphia.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)