As far as impact defenders go, the Buffalo Bills have an extremely talented one in player number five. Early on in the season you heard his name called out quite often, and his level of play was among the best in the league at his position until he hit a wall near the end of the year.
Before a couple of weeks ago, player number five encompassed all three important facets of the countdown. Those include overall raw skill level, performance on the field and projection of future success. Due to a mishap in the offseason though, it dramatically shut down the latter of the three -- at least temporarily.
LB Kiko Alonso
Age: 23 (8/14/90) Height: 6’3” Weight: 238
Why he’s here:
- Alonso has the right blend of speed, instincts and general disregard for his body that makes for an excellent linebacker in the National Football League. He blazed on to the scene last year by posting four interceptions in the first four games, eight games total where he wrapped up double digit tackles and he played every single snap for the Bills last season. For where he was drafted in 2013 (second round), he was an absolute steal of a pick and one that had a very promising 2014 lined up.
- The past tense was used in the last sentence because, of course, Alonso’s season is over before it even got started. The linebacker suffered a torn ACL working out in Oregon and will likely miss the entirety of the 2014 campaign. It’s a big blow to the Bills because they lose one of their most explosive players on defense, and there is a clear gap between him and whoever his replacement will be this season. He was also set to play at weakside linebacker, which would have suited his skill set and body best, but he will likely no longer have that chance. Nowadays professional athletes bounce back from the torn ACL injury quite well, and the Bills will have to hold on to hope that Alonso can be one of the increasing trend.