Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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Which Buffalo Bills draftees had the best rookie seasons?

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Buffalo: Which Buffalo Bills draftees had the best rookie seasons?
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The draft is almost here. Watch the video for a preview from both One Bills Drive and Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

BILLS DRAFT COVERAGE ON TWC NEWS

All this week, Time Warner Cable News will feature draft-related Top 9 lists that look at the Bills' draft history, and the 2014 draft.

Each evening, look for a special The Blitz video blog as reporters Kevin Carroll, Andy Young and Jon Scott breakdown the draft from local players that could land on an NFL team to who the Bills will target.

Beginning Thursday, get comprehensive coverage on TV and the Web from Radio City Music Hall and Ralph Wilson Stadium as the TWC News Sports team gets analysis and reaction on the Bills' selections.

As fans get ready for Thursday's NFL Draft, Time Warner Cable News wanted to take a look at the Top 9 Rookie Performances of Buffalo Bills draft picks of all-time.

1. Jim Kelly: This likely won't come as a surprise for many. The Hall of Fame quarterback threw for 3,593 yards and 22 touchdowns in his rookie season. His attempts (480) in that 1986 season were a career high, and his yards ranked as the second highest he'd achieve in his 11-year career. Kelly started all 16 games for the Bills, who went 4-12 in 1986.
Round: 1
Pick: 14
College: Miami

2. Bruce Smith: A year before Kelly made his debut, the Bills's all-time leader in sacks made his. Smith had 6.5 sacks -- a great number for a rookie, but it paled in comparison to the rest of his 15-year career. Smith also had 78 tackles and four fumble recoveries in 1985.
Round: 1
Pick: 1
College: Virginia Tech

3. Willis McGahee: The Miami Hurricane product rushed for 1,128 and 13 touchdowns -- tied with Cookie Gilchrist for the most all-time by a Bills rookie running back. McGahee averaged four yards a carry in 2004, the most of his three seasons in Buffalo.
Round: 1
Pick: 23
College: Miami

4. Marshawn Lynch: It seems like a run on Pro-Bowl-running-backs-succeeding-elsewhere. The Beast rushed for 1,115 with seven touchdowns in 2007, and also averaged four yards a carry. Lynch only coughed up the ball twice in 280 attempts.
Round: 1
Pick: 12
College: California

5. Antowain Smith: Smith didn't start a single game for the Bills in 1997, but he rushed for eight touchdowns and 840 yards with an average of 4.3 a carry. Smith would get the bulk of the carries in '98, but average more than four yards a carry just twice more in his nine-year career.
Round: 1
Pick: 23
College: Houston

6. Jairus Byrd: Leading the NFL in interceptions is no easy task, but that's what Byrd did in 2009 when he started 11 games for the Bills. Byrd picked off opposing quarterbacks nine times. In his five seasons at safety, Byrd has 22 interceptions and a pair of pick-sixes.
Round: 2
Pick: 42
College: Oregon

7. Lee Evans: Despite just starting one game, Evans caught 48 passes, nine for touchdowns, and finished with 843 receiving yards. In his 2004 rookie year, Evans had a career-high 17.6 yards per reception. In his seven-year NFL career, Evans just eclipsed 6,000 receiving yards.
Round: 1
Pick: 13
College: Wisconsin

8. Joe Cribbs: In 1980, running back Joe Cribbs rushed for 11 touchdowns and 1,185 -- more than any other drafted rookie running back in team history. While he had 11 TDs, Cribbs had an astounding 16 fumbles in his rookie season. By far 1980 was his most successful season, never rushing for more than five touchdowns in any of the other seven years he played.
Round: 2
Pick: 29
College: Auburn

9. Greg Bell: Yet another running back that rushed for 1,100 yards (on the nose, to be exact.) Bell had seven TDs and averaged 4.2 yards a carry for the Bills in 1984. Once Bell moved on to the Los Angeles Rams, he had two season when he led the league in rushing touchdowns.
Round: 1
Pick: 26
College: Notre Dame

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