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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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Dareus arrest shouldn't have impact on Bills' draft plans

The Buffalo Bills got the phone calls and emails that they never want to receive on Tuesday night, when one of their best players makes the news for all the wrong reasons. Former third overall pick and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus made the headlines for being arrested on a felony charge of posession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

With the NFL Draft being under two days away, those still awake on Twitter when the news first broke immediately reached out and asked obvious question. Does Dareus' arrest change their draft plans?

In short, no, it shouldn't. At least not in the early rounds.

The two are not related for a few different reasons. For starters, this arrest is still in it's infancy and it's unlikely that all of the necessary information needed will be acquired between now and Thursday night at 8 pm. That information includes the actual charges, the NFL's own investigation and their subsequent decision on whether or not it warrants a suspension.

Secondly, the Bills have Dareus and Kyle Williams locked up for the next two seasons if they so choose. The team exercised the fifth-year option on Dareus' rookie deal and can keep him in hopes that he turns it around and changes his ways over the next two years before they have to invest a lot of money in him. Even if suspended, the Bills have a player that is capable of starting in his stead in Alan Branch.

Finally, the Bills' draft plans likely won't be affected by the arrest early in the draft because of the talent available and their overall philosophy heading into this year's draft. The only player worthy of consideration at ninth overall is Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald, but his game is eerily similar to that of Kyle Williams. Although Dareus and Williams play the same position, their roles are different within the confines of the defense.

Also, the selection of Donald would do nothing for the advancement of EJ Manuel in the 2014 regular season. That's what the upcoming campaign is all about, because the Bills feel as though they have the roster necessary to compete for the postseason and they are putting all their hopes on Manuel's right arm.

The Bills could address the position somewhere on Day Two of the draft, but they have much bigger needs for both this season and in planning for the future. Buffalo might be in line to select a defensive tackle at some point on Day Three of the draft, but those players primarily don't factor into the starting lineup discussions.

Dareus screwed up and he is paying for it at the moment in the court of public opinion. However, even with the transgression and perhaps even a suspension, Dareus will still be a member of the team for the 2014 season at least and will likely be available for at least 75-percent of the team's games.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of the AP​

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