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1964 Draft


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While looking up draft classes, I stumbled upon some Bills history I did not know.  How many knew in 1964 the Bills drafted both Carl Eller and Paul Warfield? Neither would sign with the Bills. Eller was drafted by Minnesota and Warfield by Cleveland and both chose NFL over AFL. Both of course would go on to be inducted into HOF.  Eller is a top 20 DE of all time.  I had no idea both these players could have been Bills. 

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I didn't remember they were in the same draft, but I knew both had been drafted.   Warfield was world-class receiver.   He might have been Jerry Rice 15 years too early.    (Just like Bob McAdoo may have been Kevin Durant too early.)  Eller was superb.  

 

The battles to sign those guys were unbelievable.  The Bills didn't lose just those two, they also lost Ernie Davis.   

 

The Chiefs stashed Otis Taylor in a motel room somewhere to keep some NFL team from getting to him.   

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6 minutes ago, Shaw66 said:

I didn't remember they were in the same draft, but I knew both had been drafted.   Warfield was world-class receiver.   He might have been Jerry Rice 15 years too early.    (Just like Bob McAdoo may have been Kevin Durant too early.)  Eller was superb.  

LOL Shaw, one of my boys is a big NBA fan, and I’ve been telling him for years that I’d put 1970s Big Mac up against KD any day of the week. Naturally he doubts his old man, but I’ll show him your post … 😎

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3 minutes ago, Stranded in Boston said:

LOL Shaw, one of my boys is a big NBA fan, and I’ve been telling him for years that I’d put 1970s Big Mac up against KD any day of the week. Naturally he doubts his old man, but I’ll show him your post … 😎

I wasn't in Buffalo and wasn't much of a Braves fan, but my brother kept telling me about McAdoo.   Finally, on a visit to Buffalo, I went to a game, and I was amazed at this unique talent who simply didn't fit into the game at all.   He was a the modern big power forward, a KD or a KG.   Ramsay did what he could, but McAdoo just didn't fit.   If people think about Iverson, how undisciplined he seemed, how brilliant but somehow not quite right for the game, it was the same thing.  Iverson would be a top-5 star today, and McAdoo too.  

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The problem for McAdoo was that he was playing center, against the more-massive traditional centers of the day.  As a power forward today, McAdoo would indeed have been Durant-like in his production.  He was a great shooter and a good defender.

 

As for the OP, it's a shame the Bills lost out on those two players.  Bringing them into the fold would have gone a long way to helping keep the 60s good times rolling, instead of having too many players get old at once.  

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1 hour ago, Ethan in Portland said:

While looking up draft classes, I stumbled upon some Bills history I did not know.  How many knew in 1964 the Bills drafted both Carl Eller and Paul Warfield? Neither would sign with the Bills. Eller was drafted by Minnesota and Warfield by Cleveland and both chose NFL over AFL. Both of course would go on to be inducted into HOF.  Eller is a top 20 DE of all time.  I had no idea both these players could have been Bills. 

I think you’d be very surprised how many  people here know this.

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1 hour ago, Stranded in Boston said:

LOL Shaw, one of my boys is a big NBA fan, and I’ve been telling him for years that I’d put 1970s Big Mac up against KD any day of the week. Naturally he doubts his old man, but I’ll show him your post … 😎

That whole team was ahead of its time. Before Ernie D got hurt they were showtime before the Lakers.

 

A couple years later, for 48 hours they had McAdoo, Moses Malone, Randy Smith and Adrian Dantley. If management had stayed out of their own way, an NBA championship could have been in the picture.

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9 minutes ago, Mcdermott said:

That whole team was ahead of its time. Before Ernie D got hurt they were showtime before the Lakers.

 

A couple years later, for 48 hours they had McAdoo, Moses Malone, Randy Smith and Adrian Dantley. If management had stayed out of their own way, an NBA championship could have been in the picture.

Ernie D didn’t get hurt, he contracte leukemia.  Really sad story with his childhood.  What he accomplished in college, it’s no surprise they made a movie about him.

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2 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

I didn't remember they were in the same draft, but I knew both had been drafted.   Warfield was world-class receiver.   He might have been Jerry Rice 15 years too early.    (Just like Bob McAdoo may have been Kevin Durant too early.)  Eller was superb.  

 

The battles to sign those guys were unbelievable.  The Bills didn't lose just those two, they also lost Ernie Davis.   

 

The Chiefs stashed Otis Taylor in a motel room somewhere to keep some NFL team from getting to him.   

Speaking of Bob McAdoo, before the NBA draft McAdoo had signed with the ABA's Virginia Squires.  Here's a story that I wrote years ago that is published on the Remember The ABA website.  

 

"The only ABA vs. NBA exhibition game I ever saw was the Virginia Squires vs. Buffalo Braves game played in Buffalo on September 22, 1972. The game itself really isn't the story so much as the reason why the game was played. The story began the day of the 1972 NBA draft. On that day I opened the Buffalo News, and the sports page headline read "Braves' Dilemma - McAdoo or McAdon't." The story mentioned that even though the Braves knew that Bob McAdoo had already signed a contract with the ABA Virginia Squires, the Braves believed that they could draft McAdoo, find a loophole in his Squires contract, and sign him. Obviously, that's exactly what happened. This story is similar to the events that happened a year earlier when Howard Porter signed with the Pittsburgh Condors, yet never played for the Condors. Instead, Porter was "traded" to the Chicago Bulls after he had signed contracts with both teams. As far as I know, Paul Ruffner (the player sent by the Bulls to the Condors) was the only player ever to be willingly sent to a team in the rival league -- as compensation for the right to keep another player. That made Ruffner the only player to be "traded" from the NBA to the ABA. The McAdoo case was different in that no player was sent by the Braves to the Squires. However, there was a settlement between the two teams that permitted McAdoo to join the Braves. As part of that settlement, the Braves and Squires agreed to play home-and-home exhibition games against each other before the 1972-73 regular season began. The final twist in this story occurred one year later. More than a year after the demise of the Pittsburgh Condors an ex-Condor player signed with the Braves, and made the team -- his name was Paul Ruffner."

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38 minutes ago, machine gun kelly said:

Ernie D didn’t get hurt, he contracte leukemia.  Really sad story with his childhood.  What he accomplished in college, it’s no surprise they made a movie about him.

No, I think you are talking about Ernie Davis. I’m talking about Ernie D from the Braves

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41 minutes ago, Mcdermott said:

That whole team was ahead of its time. Before Ernie D got hurt they were showtime before the Lakers.

 

A couple years later, for 48 hours they had McAdoo, Moses Malone, Randy Smith and Adrian Dantley. If management had stayed out of their own way, an NBA championship could have been in the picture.

 

Don't get me started man.  The Buffalo Braves were on the cusp of greatness.  But Canisius owned the Aud, John Y Brown decided he couldn't make any money here, so he pulled up stakes.  I curse the LA Clippers, and hope they never win an NBA title.  Unless, of course, the NBA decides to make it right and come back, then I'm all-in.

 

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1 hour ago, Albany,n.y. said:

Speaking of Bob McAdoo, before the NBA draft McAdoo had signed with the ABA's Virginia Squires.  Here's a story that I wrote years ago that is published on the Remember The ABA website.  

 

"The only ABA vs. NBA exhibition game I ever saw was the Virginia Squires vs. Buffalo Braves game played in Buffalo on September 22, 1972. The game itself really isn't the story so much as the reason why the game was played. The story began the day of the 1972 NBA draft. On that day I opened the Buffalo News, and the sports page headline read "Braves' Dilemma - McAdoo or McAdon't." The story mentioned that even though the Braves knew that Bob McAdoo had already signed a contract with the ABA Virginia Squires, the Braves believed that they could draft McAdoo, find a loophole in his Squires contract, and sign him. Obviously, that's exactly what happened. This story is similar to the events that happened a year earlier when Howard Porter signed with the Pittsburgh Condors, yet never played for the Condors. Instead, Porter was "traded" to the Chicago Bulls after he had signed contracts with both teams. As far as I know, Paul Ruffner (the player sent by the Bulls to the Condors) was the only player ever to be willingly sent to a team in the rival league -- as compensation for the right to keep another player. That made Ruffner the only player to be "traded" from the NBA to the ABA. The McAdoo case was different in that no player was sent by the Braves to the Squires. However, there was a settlement between the two teams that permitted McAdoo to join the Braves. As part of that settlement, the Braves and Squires agreed to play home-and-home exhibition games against each other before the 1972-73 regular season began. The final twist in this story occurred one year later. More than a year after the demise of the Pittsburgh Condors an ex-Condor player signed with the Braves, and made the team -- his name was Paul Ruffner."

If memory serves, the reason the Braves were able to void McAdoo’s Virginia contract was due to McAdoo being not if legal age to sign the contract in Virginia.

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2 hours ago, Mcdermott said:

That whole team was ahead of its time. Before Ernie D got hurt they were showtime before the Lakers.

 

A couple years later, for 48 hours they had McAdoo, Moses Malone, Randy Smith and Adrian Dantley. If management had stayed out of their own way, an NBA championship could have been in the picture.

And Nate Archibald. 

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4 hours ago, Ethan in Portland said:

While looking up draft classes, I stumbled upon some Bills history I did not know.  How many knew in 1964 the Bills drafted both Carl Eller and Paul Warfield? Neither would sign with the Bills. Eller was drafted by Minnesota and Warfield by Cleveland and both chose NFL over AFL. Both of course would go on to be inducted into HOF.  Eller is a top 20 DE of all time.  I had no idea both these players could have been Bills. 

 

Even back then, the rumor was decades old that Ralph was cheap. I think Keith Richards might have started that rumor, and then the universe.  :)

 

I kid, a couple of all-time great names there. I remember watching Butch Byrd covering Warfield at the Rockpile. It was 24 vs 42 I believe? Wow, that seems like another lifetime. 

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4 hours ago, Chandler#81 said:

I think you’d be very surprised how many  people here know this.

I was born in 1970. I dont have much memory of the 1970's teams. My first real football memories are from the 1980 season. I was 10 so I didn't follow the off the field stuff for a while. My earliest memories of that kind of stuff was Tom Cousineau not signing with the Bills ( though I probably only learned about it when the trade in 1983 with Cleveland went down), Gary Anderson not making the team, and Cribbs leaving for the USFL - he and Butler were my favorite players then. 

I know some of the major highlights pre-1980 but somehow missed out on these future stars almost being Bills.

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