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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: A great draft, eventually

   April 26, 1983 -- The Buffalo Bills had two first-round draft choices in 1983. One of them went on to a Hall of Fame career, while the other was a major disappointment.

   The picks did not come in the order you'd suspect.

   The Bills had the 12th pick in the first round, and took tight end Tony Hunter with it. Hunter was supposed to be a surefire star in the NFL. He caught 36 and 33 passes for the Bills in his two years here, and then was traded to the Rams in the Vince Ferragamo swap. Hunter only spent two more years in the NFL.

   The other pick, the 14th overall, went better. Buffalo took Jim Kelly. It was one of the great draft years for quarterbacks in NFL history. Kelly fit in during the first round with such players as John Elway and Dan Marino. It took Kelly a while to get to Buffalo, thanks to a stay in the United States Football League, but the pick worked out fine eventually.

   Who went after Kelly in the first round? There was Gil Byrd, whose son is a Bill now, Willie Gault, Darrell Green, and Marino.

   Buffalo's second round draft pick did pretty well too -- a linebacker out of West Virginia named Darryl Talley.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.