By Budd Bailey

Jim Haslett of the Bills

Taken in Round 2 in 1979

Other picks in the round: It’s interesting that every single draft choice in that group played at least 20 games in the NFL, and 27 of 28 of them reached 32 in career games. Jets defensive lineman Mark Gastineau probably was the most famous player in the bunch. Dan Ross (Bengals) and Earnest Gray (Giants) were the best receivers taken in the round.

The details: Coming out of Indiana (Pa.), Haslett might have been the most unknown player in the round. Yet he moved right into the starting lineup with fellow draftee Fred Smerlas, and the two of them specialized in football mayhem on the field and comedy off of it. Haslett had seven good seasons in Buffalo, and then went into coaching. He guided the Saints and Cardinals for a total of seven years.

Other 51s: Andy Levitre was a good choice by the Bills in 2009. He was a starter for four years in Buffalo, and then received a huge offer as a free agent to jump to Tennessee. Levitre took it, and finished a 10-year career. He started every game he played – 143 of them. The Sabres thought Brendan Guhle was a good prospect on defense, but traded him with a first-round pick in 2019 to Anaheim for Brandon Montour. Guhle remains stuck between the minors and the NHL.

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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