Why he’s here:
- Dareus tops the list for many different reasons. Out of all the players on the Bills’ roster, he is the player that has the best blend of natural skill level, actual performance on the field and he’s young enough to project a very long and strong career into the future. When Dareus is on, he makes it look easy. That’s not to say he didn’t struggle early on in his career, because he did. In his rookie season he was inconsistent but showed flashes of greatness. In his second year, Dareus became a little bit more consistent but still wasn’t overwhelming offensive lineman consistently enough. Last year, the former third overall pick was quite close to being dominant on more than a handful of plays each game. With that type of progression over the first three years, there’s no telling how good Dareus can become in the future. He has all the size and the physicality to rip offensive linemen to the ground and get off blocks to stop plays before they start. Despite his off-the-field troubles, he tops the list of top 20 talents heading into training camp.
- Much will be decided about Dareus’ short-term outlook by the league office. He may face a suspension for two separate off-the-field incidents that resulted in him accruing charges for his poor decision making. If you speak with Dareus a few times, you’ll come away knowing that football is everything to him. With the threat of that being taken away, Dareus could be at the age where the immaturity finally starts to fade. He’s at a bit of a crossroads at this point: He could become one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the game, or he could waste that talent by continuing to make poor decisions. He’ll need to prove to the Bills that he is a changed man starting this season, and use all his frustrations to terrorize opposing teams when he is on the field.