|Offense||13th||152.0 (1st)||208.9 (27th)|
|Defense||19th||108.1 (15th)||248.2 (18th)|
Both the team and Lawson are also refuting a Mel Kiper report that Lawson will need shoulder surgery at some point, something that would sideline him 4-6 months. There's some merit to the player's stance, as Lawson injured his right shoulder several years ago as a freshman and seemed to do just fine with it during the last few seasons at Clemson. But we'll at least say Lawson probably runs a slightly bigger injury risk that some of the other draftees from Thursday night. That all said, linebacker was a huge weak spot for the Bills last year, and if the team is serious about switching to more 3-4 looks, than a corps of Lawson, Preston Brown, Zack Brown and Hughes suddenly looks a lot better.
A slight shoulder concern may have played a role in Lawson falling this far, as he was likely a justifiable pick as high as the top 10. Lawson was the best player on a dominant Clemson defense in 2015, finishing with 60 tackles (25.5 for loss) and 12.5 sacks in 15 games. He has the athleticism to play on the edge for Buffalo regardless of whether the team is in a four- or three-man front.
While Brown picked up 120 total tackles in 2015, the defense struggled for most of the season and Brown - normally a strong student of the game - had a tough time with Rex Ryan's new defense and the calls he had to make to his teammates. Brown is by far the team's best linebacker entering 2016, so expect him to stay on the field in almost all scenarios. A 100-plus tackle season seems like a good bet once again.
Coach Rex Ryan says that, as of now, Brown is a starter at inside linebacker along with Preston Brown, The Buffalo News reports.
Gilmore missed the last four games of the 2015 season, but he's expected to be healthy for the start of 2016. He'll start at cornerback across from Ronald Darby (hernia), with the duo forming one of the league's better CB tandems.
Men's Majestic Heather Gray Buffalo Bills Critical Victory II Muscle Tank Top Shop Now!