2014 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bulls Draft History

Joe Robbins

Between 1952 and 1963, UB started sending players into the NFL, culminating with Gerry Philbin's 33rd overall selection in the 1963 NFL Draft. After a 34-year drought, the new Bulls have sent more and more Bulls to the NFL over the last 17 years culminating with Khalil Mack, who will become the highest draft pick in school history.

All eyes are on Mack, however UB's all-time leading running back, Branden Oliver and one of the best wide receivers in UB history, Alex Neutz will be considered in the later rounds of the draft. UB has been successful at putting defensive backs into NFL camps, and with impressive numbers at their pro days, Derek Brim and Najja Johnson may hear their names called as well. But first, a look back at UB's draft history.

Les Molnar was the first UB NFL draft pick selected 206th overall in 1952. Molnar never got the chance to play in New York, the Yanks moved to Dallas to become the Texans.

In 1957, Frank Woidzik became the 2nd UB player drafted, 44th overall to the Los Angeles Rams. He would be considered a bust in today's world, he was waived by the Rams in September of his rookie season.

After the legendary 1958 team won the Lambert Cup, UB Co-Captain Lou Reale was drafted by the New York Giants. Reale would never play for the Giants and instead enlisted in the Army. Reale returned to football as a Buffalo Bill in 1961.

In 1963, Gerry Philbin was drafted 19th overall in the AFL draft by the New York Jets and two days later drafted 33rd overall by the Lions in the NFL draft. Philbin wisely chose the Jets where he played an integral part in the Jets' shocking Super Bowl III win. In 1970, Philbin was named as the defensive end on the AFL All-Time Team.

UB football diminished then disappeared, and returned at the D-3 level. In the early 1990's, UB began to push towards playing football at the highest level again. The fruits of that effort came in 1997, when UB broke a 34 year draft drought with big Ed Ellis. Ellis was drafted 125th overall by Pete Carroll's New England Patriots in 1997. Ellis was a role player for the Patriots, with the Dragons of the World League, with Washington and San Diego. His enduring impact is a field goal block against the Buffalo Bills that ensured victory for Doug Flutie and the Chargers in Flutie's first game after being cut by the Bills in 2001.

In 2000, the greatest receiver in UB history became the first Bull drafted by the NFL Bills (RB Willie Evans was drafted by the AFL Bulls). Haddad was drafted 233rd overall, and played special teams for the Bills, and Colts. As a receiver, Haddad excelled for Frankfurt in the World League, scoring a touchdown in World Bowl XII.

For the first time in UB history, two players were drafted in 2008. Trevor Scott was drafted by the Raiders 193rd overall and Jamey Richard was drafted 236th overall by the Colts. Trevor currently a Bear, sacked a bunch of star Quarterbacks, while Jamey Richard was on the Colts Super Bowl team (that lost to New Orleans) and scored the first regular season NFL touchdown in UB Alumni history.


This decade, James Starks, lost his Senior year to injury, falling to the 193rd overall pick to Green Bay in 2010. No complaints however, as Starks led the Packers in the 2011 Playoffs, started Super Bowl XLV and became the UB's 2nd Super Bowl Champion.

Josh Thomas was drafted by his hometown team the Dallas Cowboys 143rd overall, but cut after camp. Thomas was signed by Carolina, where former UB defensive back coach Matt House was an assistant. Thomas has played 38 games in 3 years for the Panthers.

Finally, Steven Means was drafted last year 147th overall by the Buccaneers. Means made 5 tackles in 10 games played in 2013.

2014 will always be know as the year Khalil Mack was drafted, a culmination of twenty years of work to get Buffalo back to the highest level of football. It will be a testament to Turner Gill, the man who jump started the UB program and a testament to Jeff Quinn, the man who continually pushes the Bulls forward. It is a beacon of hope for the Bulls and all mid-majors, that one-star prospect, that obscure name, the walk-on, just may be the next Khalil Mack.

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