Buffalo Bills: 15 best first-round draft picks of all-time

Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport
Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport /
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Nate Clements, Buffalo Bills
Nate Clements, Buffalo Bills. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Cornerback Nate Clements would play in the NFL for 12 seasons with three different franchises: the Bills, the San Francisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals. While he ended up being a savvy veteran in the league for a dozen years, his first and best six came with the team that drafted him in Buffalo.

The Bills selected Clements No. 21 overall out of Ohio State in the 2001 NFL Draft. Clements played in all 96 possible regular season games in his six years with the Bills, starting in 91 of them.

He made his lone trip to the Pro Bowl in 2004, a season where he had 53 total tackles, 20 assists, 14 pass breakups, six interceptions for 77 yards and a touchdown, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and half a quarterback sack.

Durability and on-field reliability made Clements a huge get in 2007 NFL free agency. He would sign a multi-year deal with the 49ers that spring, where he would become the highest paid defensive player in football history.

Clements would star for the 2007 49ers, but would be released after the 2010 NFL season. He would play his last NFL season with the Bengals in 2012.

Clements left Orchard Park with 341 total tackles, 91 assists, 87 pass breakups, 23 interceptions for 341 yards and five touchdowns, 12 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries for 18 yards and 1.5 quarterback sacks. He did not reach the NFL playoffs until his 11th season in the league as a member of the 2011 Bengals.