Thu Apr 28 08:23pm EDT
Pros: Plays effectively all over the line. Drives off the snap with decent quickness from a five-tech position in three-and four-man fronts, though his size (6-foot-3, 309 pounds) leads more naturally inside to the three-tech position. Inside, he splits double-teams well with quick rip and swim moves, getting into the backfield with authority. Gets good push at the start of a play against slide protection and can extend to the sideline without getting washed out.
Slips off blocks to help with run tackles. Generally comes up from a lower stance that affords him leverage, though he'll revert to a higher point once in a while. Excellent quickness and ability to redirect for a tackle — he'll peel off blocks and get downfield to stop a play with alarming quickness. Upper-body strength shows up not only at the line, but in space, where he can make tackles at times with just one hand. Reads well and closes in quickly on ballcarriers trying to split gaps inside.
Cons: If he's playing straight over the head of a bigger guard, Dareus can get bulled out of the play at times; in such instances, he's better off using his speed and hands to get by as opposed to getting in a strength battle. Doesn't possess consistently dynamic pass-rush moves from the end position.
What he brings to the team: Dareus doesn't play a "sexy" position; he's not going to explode on the scene like Ndamukong Suh. But he's going to be a key cog for his NFL team as the player who commands double-teams and can make plays despite them. Most NFL teams prefer a taller five-tech in any front, though he could kick outside in certain situations. Versatile, tough and consistent, Dareus has the tools to become the centerpiece of a defense for many years.
Is it the right pick? Without question. The Bills had among the worst run defenses in recent memory, and Dareus' versatility makes him a scheme-transcendent player for any team. With a franchise trying to get back to the middle like the Bills, tough, consistent players must be the norm. Dareus will set the tone for that entire defense.
The rest of the top 10 picks
• 1. Cam Newton -- Carolina Panthers
• 2. Von Miller -- Denver Broncos
• 4. A.J. Green -- Cincinnati Bengals
• 5. Patrick Peterson -- Arizona Cardinals
• 6. Julio Jones -- Atlanta Falcons
• 7. Aldon Smith -- San Francisco 49ers
• 8. Jake Locker -- Tennessee Titans
• 9. Tyron Smith -- Dallas Cowboys
• 10. Blaine Gabbert -- Jacksonville Jaguars
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