The Buffalo Bills were excited to see Marcell Dareus available with the third overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. The Bills saw Cam Newton go off the board to the Carolina Panthers with the first pick, and then saw Von Miller go to the Denver Broncos. There did not appear to be any hesitation on the part of Buffalo Bills General Manager Buddy Nix, as they were pleased to make Dareus the newest member of the team.
What does the drafting of Dareus do to make the Buffalo Bills a better team? For starters he will help the defense across the board in a number of different ways. He replaces the hole left by the release of Marcus Stroud. He will ease some of the pressure on Kyle Williams, where Williams should see less double teams. Dareus will require double-team blocking schemes that allow the linebackers to have an easier path to the ball carrier and to the quarterback.
Dareus can play nose tackle or defensive end in the 3-4 defensive scheme of the Bills, so that flexibility is huge. He can rush the quarterback, and when he decides to bend the corner, he is difficult to stop. After all, we are talking about a 6'3" 319 pound man. He combines power and quickness that allows him to stuff running plays and to get in to the backfield to blow up plays behind the line of scrimmage.
He is a dominant player, and his mere presence makes the Bills a tougher, stronger and more physical team at the line of scrimmage which can not be emphasized enough. The Bills will look to line him up against the weakest link of the opponents offensive line to expose their weaknesses and take advantage whenever they can.
Dareus can shed blockers due to his strength, which is why the Bills rush defense immediately gets better. Dareus will be able to play all three downs, unless he needs a blow as part of a rotation to keep him fresh throughout the game. You know that his addition has to be viewed as great news for Bills linebackers Shawne Merriman, Paul Posluszny and Arthur Moats.
In short, Dareus makes all of the Bills defenders better due to his presence. In the 2010 season for Alabama, he made 34 tackles, 11 of which went for a loss and had 4.5 sacks. In the 2009 NCAA Championship Game against Texas, he knocked out Texas QB Colt McCoy and scored a touchdown in the game to help lead Alabama to their national crown.
In his career, Dareus came up with 11 sacks, and 20 tackles for loss. He was a first team All-SEC player in 2010, and a third team AP All-American player. Mike Mayock, NFL Network Analyst, absolutely loves the pick for the Bills. How often have Bills fan heard that kind of praise heaped upon our first round picks lately?
The selection of Dareus breaks the string of Buddy Nix drafting only seniors as the Bills General Manager. But, this was the right call, and if Nix wasn't offered enough by other teams to trade out of this pick, he made the right move by picking Dareus.
Dareus said after his selection that he knows that Buffalo is cold, but he is coming to bring some warmth to the city of Buffalo. We certainly hope so Marcell. Welcome to Buffalo and may you enjoy a rich and long career with the Buffalo Bills.