5 most underappreciated players in Buffalo Bills history

These five former Bills are some of the most underrated players in Bills history.
Oakland Raiders v Buffalo Bills
Oakland Raiders v Buffalo Bills / Rick Stewart/GettyImages

Throughout the history of the Buffalo Bills, fans have seen impactful players both long-term and short-term. We have also seen players in Buffalo who become big time busts, whether they were drafted, signed or traded by the Bills. It is all part of the business and that is what makes it interesting. Bills Mafia has had the chance to witness greatness at some point with many players over the years. Whether you got to see their four year Super Bowl run from 1990-1993, or what they have been able to do the last four seasons as well. Even during their long playoff drought, there were plenty of valuable players that never got to experience any kind of postseason succeed, let alone a division championship.

Among each team in the NFL, there are underappreciated players in history. Players that gave it their all and were fan favorites. Fans from all generations have seen greatness from notable players, as well as under-the-radar players. We take a look at the five most underappreciated Bills players in Buffalo history and see what they did for Buffalo during their time with the Bills.

RB Fred Jackson

The Bills have had plenty of viable running backs in their career that established a run game in Buffalo. Especially when the winter months come around, running backs play a key factor in a team’s success. Running back Fred Jackson was beloved by Bills Mafia, and still is to this day. The former captain played for the Bills for eight seasons from 2007-2014 and played his final season of his career with the Seattle Seahawks in 2015. Jackson rushed for 5,746 yards and 30 touchdowns while also adding on 2,897 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns.

Jackson only rushed for over 1,000+ yards once in 2009 but managed to rush for over four yards a carry throughout his career. He was teammates with players like Marshawn Lynch and C.J. Spiller that made the Bills into a run-first team for the longest time. The business side of the NFL kicked in going into the 2015 season when the Bills had traded for LeSean McCoy and it led to the Bills releasing the fan favorite in Jackson.

C Kent Hull

The Bills’ best center and even offensive lineman of all time is none other than Kent Hull who was part of the Jim Kelly/Marv Levy era in Buffalo. Hull was a long time starter for the Bills that was part of an offense that helped the Bills reach four consecutive Super Bowls in the 90s. From 1988 to 1991, Hull earned three Pro Bowl honors, two Second-Team All-Pro honors and two First-Team All-Pro honors.

It goes without saying that Hull was the anchor of the offensive line that helped elevate an offense that had Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed making the plays on the ground and through the air.

QB Tyrod Taylor

That’s right, Tyrod Taylor is on this list. Up until the Bills brought Taylor to Buffalo, Bills fans were in misery during the playoff drought in the early 2010s. The team was going through multiple quarterbacks that could never get the Bills over the hump. The quarterbacks include Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, EJ Manuel and Kyle Orton. Taylor was signed by the Bills in the 2015 offseason and won the starting job in Buffalo and eventually earned a trip to the Pro Bowl throwing over 3,000 yards, 20 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. 

While Taylor had control of the offense, he was never the type to take risks. He played it safe and while it was smart to do so, he never was able to capitalize on major opportunities to put the Bills over the top multiple times. However, he will always be remembered as the quarterback that helped break the playoff drought in Buffalo in 2017 when the Bills back-doored their way into the playoffs as the last seed in the AFC. 

Despite how things ended with Taylor and Buffalo, he brought joy back to Buffalo and to the fanbase. The joy that was picked up by Josh Allen in 2018 and has been carried to this day.

DE Aaron Schobel

When you hear the word “consistency” defensive end Aaron Schobel should be mentioned in the conversation. Schobel was in the league for only nine seasons (all with the Bills), eight of those seasons he played in every single game other than 2008. Schobel finished his career with 483 total tackles, 78 sacks, 8 fumble recoveries, 3 interceptions, 31 deflected passes and 21 forced fumbles. That is beyond amazing in such a short career. Aside from 2008 due to injury, Schobel had no less than 6.5 sacks in a season and racked up double digit sacks in four seasons which includes his last season in Buffalo.

He was one of the many players that never got to see any success in the playoffs with the Bills, but he was a fun player to watch.

WR James Lofton

In only just four seasons with the Bills, James Lofton played an important role for Buffalo. During their four year run in the early 90s, Lofton was a great complimentary player to the offense that had Reed and Thomas in the same offense. In four seasons with the Bills, Lofton racked up 2,736 yards for 21 touchdowns and earned a Pro Bowl invite in 1991. Lofton’s big success came with the Green Bay Packers early on in his career where he earned Pro Bowl honors in all but two seasons with the Packers. In addition, Lofton had also earned three Second-Team All-Pro honors as well as one First-Team All-Pro honors.

When it comes to the Bills, Lofton played a crucial role that allowed other weapons in the offense to succeed but yet Lofton still managed to find success himself.