By Budd Bailey
Jairus Byrd of the Bills
Taken in Round 2 in 2009
The next pick: Defensive end Everette Brown (Panthers) played five years in the NFL, but only started three games.
Other picks in the round: The Bills did quite well here, adding Byrd and guard Andy Levitre. The biggest star in the bunch is LeSean McCoy, who earned some of his 11,000+ yards with the Bills. Some other good picks that year were linebacker James Laurinaitis of the Cardinals, linebacker Rey Maualuga of the Bengals, defensive end Connor Barwin of the Texans, center Max Unger of the Seahawks, and defensive back Mike Mitchell of the Raiders.
The details: Byrd was a great fit for the Bills right away. He intercepted nine passes in his rookie season to lead the league, and he remained a starter for five seasons. Jarius was picked for three Pro Bowls along the way After the 2013 season, the Saints gave Byrd $54 million over six years to change teams. He only was in New Orleans for three seasons before he was cut, and he finished his career with Carolina in 2017.
Other 42s: Carwell Gardner spent seven seasons as a Bills fullback in the 1990s, but never gained more than 200 yards in a season. Chris Burkett mostly was a reserve wide receiver who split a nine-year career between the Bills and Jets. Bob Nelson was a huge disappointment as a Bills linebacker after he was drafted in 1976, but went on to start for the Raiders. Jim LeMoine played some offensive line for the Bills in 1967, but was gone a year later. Ian Llord was a tough defender for the Bandits (2008-2012). Ian was still playing in the National Lacrosse League in 2020.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)