Buffalo Bills: Scouting the 2017 NFL Draft for a Defensive Tackle

With the NFL Draft quickly approaching, we will be examining the defensive tackle position and players the Buffalo Bills should be considering in the NFL Draft.

With only 3 defensive tackles on the current roster pending free agency and the possibility of switching to a 4-3 defense, the Buffalo Bills have a pretty significant need at defensive tackle. Luckily, they can address that need in the NFL Draft this year.

There are plenty of options for the Bills, but most won’t be suited as day-one starters.

Here are the defensive tackles currently on the Bills’ roster:

Marcell Dareus 

Kyle Williams 

Adolphus Washington 

Improvement Need: HIGH

If you factor in the possibility of Kyle Williams retiring, the need becomes even more urgent. Either way, this will probably be Williams’ final season in the NFL, so a replacement will be needed eventually.

The Buffalo Bills could address most of the need if they decide to retain Corbin Bryant and Leger Douzable, but when the dollars start flying around in free agency there’s no guarantee of retaining either one.

With the 10th Pick, the Buffalo Bills could select..

Jonathan Allen

Defensive Tackle

Alabama

6’3″ , 294 lbs.

If Jonathan Allen even makes it to #10, the Bills could cement the middle of the defensive line for a long time if they were to draft him. Several mock drafts show Allen being off the board by the time the Buffalo Bills pick, but imagine Allen and Darius causing havoc in the middle with a solid pass rush and run support.

Drafting Allen could be a huge boost in winning line of scrimmage battles, disrupting offenses and freeing up the back 7 defenders to make plays. Allen recorded 62 tackles and 9.5 sacks in 2016. He also had 2 passes defended and an interception, which he returned 75 yards for a touchdown.

Allen would have been highly touted if he came out a year or two early, but he chose to stay in college and work on his game to become an every down player. He is praised for his run support almost as much as his pass rush abilities. Allen is also known for being versatile in positioning and schemes to make him an asset to any style of defense.

Other Notable Bills Draft Prospects

Malik McDowell

Defenive Tackle

Michigan State

6’6″ , 280 lbs.

Malik McDowell is known for the various moves he incorporates in his pass rush, getting off blocks in multiple ways. He has the burst, power and athleticism to make him very disruptive in the pass rush.

All those skills make it tough for opponents to keep him out of the backfield.

McDowell did suffer an ankle injury that made him miss multiple games in 2016. When he returned to action there was a difference in his play, with some suggesting that he slowed down his play to save himself for his NFL career.

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Caleb Brantley

Defensive Tackle

Florida

6’2″ , 314 lbs.

Brantley has an exceptional combination of speed and burst, making him a disruptive pass rusher. His burst at the point of attack gets him in the backfield quickly. Brantley is good on the interior line, creating opportunities for his teammates to make plays as well.

Brantley is suggested to best fit a 4-3 defense, penetrating the gaps and providing good run support. There has been some questions about Brantley’s size and arm strength, making it difficult to shed blocks once engaged.

It has also been said that Brantley tires quickly and does not have the speed to keep up in pursuit.

What defensive lineman will you be watching come draft day? Leave your comments below!

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