Bills make bold move to land OT Dawkins

Posted Apr 28, 2017

Moving 12 spots up the draft board to take an offensive tackle is not a move commonly seen in the NFL draft, but with uncertainty at the right tackle position behind incumbent starter Jordan Mills, the Bills addressed the position in the form of Dion Dawkins.

The Buffalo Bills traded up 12 spots to No. 63 in the second round to select OL Dion Dawkins out of Temple. The Bills had to give up picks Nos. 75, 149 and 156 to the Atlanta Falcons to make the sizable move.

It’s not often you see a team move a dozen spots up the board to select an offensive lineman, but the Bills had good reason to address their offensive front.

There are some question marks surrounding the Bills offensive line. Tackle Seantrel Henderson will still be serving a league-imposed suspension for five more games this season. Henderson will be allowed to participate in offseason programs and play in preseason games.

Fellow offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandijo sustained a hip injury in an incident that occurred at his home, which led to offseason surgery in January. Kouandijo is hopeful to be ready for training camp, but will miss the balance of OTA and minicamp practices.

The Bills led the NFL in rushing in 2016 and the offensive line is a big reason why. The offense accounted for 2,630 yards and scored 29 touchdowns on the ground. They also led the league in average yards per carry for a second straight year (5.3).


“The importance of running the football in this climate and philosophically what I believe in and what we believe in on the important of running the football and controlling the line of scrimmage.” McDermott noted after the Dawkins selection. “The great part about Dion is that he can play both. He can play tackle, he can play guard.”

Dawkins versatility will provide great depth and talent to the Bills line and bring much needed competition for the right tackle position with the availability of Henderson and Kouandjio very much up in the air.

His 40 collegiate starts gives him a lengthy body of work to fall back on in adjusting to the NFL game. Dawkins also got pro level coaching during his time at Temple in the form of offensive line coach George Deleone.

“You look at how well he was coached in college,” said McDermott of Dawkins. “A former NFL offensive line coach was who coached him in college. The program he came from you can’t say enough about what they’ve done at Temple.”

“I’m just going to work my tail off and whatever needs to be done, I’m willing to do it.” Dawkins said following his selection. “I’m a good run blocker and pass protector and I’m just happy to have the opportunity to protect.”

The selection of Dawkins may not only help to protect Tyrod Taylor this fall, he’ll also help protect the Bills from having a shortage of options at tackle.