January 28, 1969 -- Some years are better than others to earn the first overall draft choice. The Buffalo Bills picked a good one.
The reward for the Bills' dreary year (1-12-1) came on this date, as they selected O.J. Simpson with the draft pick. There was absolutely no suspense to the pick.
Simpson was one of the greatest running backs in the history of college football. He had run for 1,709 yards and 22 touchdowns for Southern California, numbers that helped him win the Heisman Trophy. In truth, Simpson may have deserved the Heisman in his junior year as well, although Gary Beban of UCLA beat him out.
Simpson was going to a team a long way from his native California, but didn't complain for long.
"If there was any disappointment about being drafted by Buffalo, it's over," he said. "I know I should accept things as they are, and I'm anxious to get started. It's a great honor to be drafted number one. I'm awfully proud of that."
--- Budd Bailey