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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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Bills top 20 talents: No. 17 - Manny Lawson

As the Buffalo Bills and the rest of the National Football League approaches the start of training camp, WGR Sports Radio 550 continues to reveal the top 20 most talented players on the Bills roster. It's an exercise that looks at the player's overall skill level, success on the field and how they may project into the future.

Last time, the most important player to the Bills' hopes was revealed as number 18 on the list. Who is number 17? A talented defensive player that is perhaps miscast for the upcoming season:

DE Manny Lawson

Age: 29 (7/13/84)
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 240

Why he's here:
- Over the course of the 2013 season, Manny Lawson was one of the most consistent defenders throughout. You knew precisely what you would get from him on a weekly basis as a stout, edge-setting and run-defending player that stayed within his responsibilities. He was rarely caught out of position, and for the games that the Bills looked to be much improved against the run, Lawson played a big role in that. Although limited as a pass rusher, his ability against the run makes him a good defender that can pitch in for teams. His combination of length and strength makes him very good at keeping defenders from getting into his pads.

2014 outlook:
- Had Lawson continued to be in Mike Pettine's defense for the upcoming season, he likely would have been higher on this list. However, now he is a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. It's a role that he hasn't done well with, and one that doesn't exactly fit his skill set or body type. He'll be depended on as the third defensive end due to a lack of depth, which could cause him to struggle. However, in setting the edge against tight ends Lawson will continue to be effective. The problem, though, is that he'll likely get more matchups against offensive tackles than smaller players.

Bills Top 20 Talents
20) TE Scott Chandler
19) CB Leodis McKelvin
18) QB EJ Manuel
17) DE Manny Lawson
16) ??? - Wednesday, July 9 at 8 am

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

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