By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
Jeff Nixon of the Bills
Taken in Round 4 in 1979
Other picks in that round: The Bills had their choice of a couple of good players in the No. 87 spot. Roy Green was a dynamic wide receiver for the Cardinals in the 1980s, with two Pro Bowl seasons. Don Warren spent 14 years with Washington. He mostly was known was an excellent blocker, but he could catch the ball when needed.
The details: Nixon always had an eye for the ball. He had 23 interceptions in college while playing at Richmond, and that helped make him a first-team All-American. Then he came to the Bills, and as a rookie safety he led the team in picks with six. Jeff picked right up the next season, as he had three interceptions and a fumble recovery in the opening day win over Miami. Nixon was leading the league in interceptions a few weeks later when he suffered a knee injury against the Chargers. He suffered another one a year later, and what looked like a fabulous career ended prematurely after the 1982 season.
Other 87s: Donnie Walker was a good punt returner for the Bills in 1973 and 1974. Matt Stevens played a lot of football as a rookie in 1996, and then bounced around to four othr teams during an eight-year career. Marc-Andre Gragnani’s only significant season with the Sabres came in 2011-12, when he played in 44 games. The defenseman had a few other stops in the NHL before going to Europe, where he’s played in such cities as Prague and Minsk.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)