1 - White earns Top 25 under 25 recognition He may have been a late pick in the first round, but Tre’Davious White proved last season that he should have been a hot commodity in the first 10 picks. The proof is in the statistics, and the stats are almost outrageous realizing how little recognition White received outside of Buffalo.
After the 2017 campaign, Pro Football Focus named White their Rookie of the Year. Among all rookie cornerbacks since 2006, White recorded the highest grade last season on PFF with a 92. Now, they recognize him in a tie with CB Marshon Lattimore of the Saints as the sixth best player in the NFL under 25 years old.
White was ‘Part A’ of the two-part series known as ‘rookie corners to light the world on fire’ last season. The 2017 cornerback class as a whole is likely to be the gift that keeps on giving and as of right now, White is bringing home most of the early returns. His 92.0 overall grade as a rookie landed him at second among all cornerbacks. A coverage phenom, White forced incomplete passes on 24.1 percent of targets into his coverage, the sixth-highest rate among cornerbacks that played at least 400 snaps in coverage. He also only allowed a touchdown or a first down on just 26.4 percent of targets, the seventh-lowest rate. In total, he narrowly edge his counterpart for PFF’s Rookie of the Year honors, following the season.
The 23-year-old CB out of LSU is expected to play a big role in the Bills secondary alongside Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, as well as newcomer Vontae Davis. Fans shouldn’t expect this sophomore to slump in 2018.
2 - Second-year linebacker has high hopes for defensive improvement A fifth-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft, Matt Milano worked his way into a starting role by the end of last season before getting injured in the season finale in Miami. Now, Milano returns to the Bills with the hopes of earning a starting spot opposite of Lorenzo Alexander.
The Bills finished 26th in overall defense last season, but Milano told John Murphy and Steve Tasker that the team expects a lot more of themselves.
“Last year I was just getting my feet underneath me,” said Milano. “But with the addition of a couple new guys and with the experience of just learning the defense last year, that was our first year running that defense, so I think our goal is top five.”
The 23-year-old Milano, enters the season as someone rookies will look to for leadership and guidance, but he still would not consider himself a veteran.
“Not quite yet. I’m trying to fill that role, but I’m still going,” said Milano. “I’m still building and got a lot more to do.”
Still, Milano is someone who understands what the rookies are going through having been in the same position last season. So, he understands the nerves they must be facing, but in time the franchise we’ll realize the weapons they’ve added to their defense.
“The biggest thing for me was just learning that playbook,” said Milano. “Once you get the playbook down, then you can be comfortable and actually make plays. You see these draft picks coming from their senior year, they’ve been in a system for a while, they’ve been doing it for a while, they kind of are playing freely out there, not really tensed up. So, when they first get here, like me, I was pretty tense coming in trough walk throughs and stuff because I didn’t know the defense that well. So, I think once they learn the defense, they’ll open up a little bit and start making plays.”
3 - More national coverage on Tremaine Edmunds His name is being tossed around by more and more analysts by the day, and it’s all positive. Tremaine Edmunds was the youngest player drafted this season, but the linebacker out of Virginia Tech is already projected to be one of the best this season.
First, CBS’s Chris Trapasso sees Edmunds as a favorite to be named defensive rookie of the year next season ranking him second among a list of 12 incredible athletes.
Edmunds is a freak athlete at 6-4 and 253 pounds with blazing speed and outstanding twitchiness to explode toward the football. In Sean McDermott's defense, he'll be in a true play-maker role, and the Bills added some beef to their defensive line this offseason with the block-eating Star Lotulelei, and run-stopping specialist Harrison Phillips in the third round of the 2018 draft, two players who, along with Kyle Williams, will allow Edmunds to roam relatively freely at the second level. Last year as Buffalo's middle linebacker, Preston Brown tied for the NFL lead in tackles with 144. Expect Edmunds, a former Virginia Tech star, to accumulate somewhere near that amount of tackles, and his length and athleticism should lead to some game-altering plays in coverage. He'll be on the DROY radar all season.
In terms of what Bleacher Report had to say, Edmunds was listed as the Bills best addition this offseason.
Expect Bills head coach Sean McDermott to use Edmunds all over the field but mostly as an inside linebacker with the speed and athleticism required to chase down plays in the run game, attack the line of scrimmage as a run-stuffer or blitzer and cover running backs and tight ends in space.
The Bills lost top tackler Preston Brown in free agency, so Edmunds should have the inside track at a starting spot right away. If developed the right way, Edmunds could become a versatile star in the middle of the Bills defense.
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