The Bills drafted a long-limbed edge rusher from North Carolina A&T Darryl Johnson with the 225th pick in the seventh-round of the 2019 NFL draft.
Here are three things to know about the newest Bill:
1. Dominated MEAC
Johnson dominated opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference this past season, culminating in being named the Defensive Player of the Year.
In 12 games, Johnson had 55 total tackles, 19 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks for a total loss of 69 yards.
Johnson, who stands at 6-6 and 253 pounds, broke out his sophomore year when he made 40 tackles with 15.5 for a loss, 6.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.
2. History of success
The last three MEAC defensive players of the year have all turned into solid NFL players.
Linebacker Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts won the award in 2016 and 2017 and was an All-Pro as a rookie. Javon Hargrave who won the award in 2014 and 2015 has started at defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers the past three seasons.
The 2013 winner Joe Thomas has played 52 games with eight starts in the past five seasons with the Packers and Cowboys.
North Carolina A&T has had a player drafted in the last two NFL drafts, running back Tarik Cohen and offensive tackle Brandon Parker. Cohen made the Pro Bowl this past year and Parker won a starting job as a rookie for the Raiders.
3. NC A&T was his only offer
Johnson committed to A&T without even taking an official recruiting visit. Johnson got injured his senior football season and the recruiting interest cooled leading to North Carolina A&T being his only scholarship offer.
“Man, without A&T, I really don’t know where I’d be right now,” Johnson said. “I’d be in college somewhere, but I probably wouldn’t be playing football. I’d probably be at a junior college somewhere. I thank God for A&T. … I’ll give my all to this university because they believed in me.”
With the 2019 NFL Draft officially underway, follow along with the Buffalo Bills to find out which players the team selects. Bills draft coverage is presented by ECMC.