Bills LB Matt Milano had another strong performance last Sunday in Miami as he was factor in Buffalo's pass rush and in coverage. The linebacker's versatility and playmaking ability is well known in Western New York, but outside of Buffalo the recognition of his exploits has just not been there.
But among NFL executives and coaches, his impact on the field is wholly respected. ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler polled league executives and coaches to put together the league’s 10 most underappreciated players and Milano made the list.
Matt Milano, ILB, Buffalo Bills
The Bills were smart to lock up Milano to a four-year, $44 million deal back in March. The linebacker market is only growing, and Milano will look like a steal by year's end.
Milano has done a little bit of everything for Buffalo, posting one sack, four tackles for loss and one pass deflection through the first two weeks. "He's a three-down player -- can run, cover and is smart," said an NFL scouting director.
Former first-round pick Tremaine Edmunds is undoubtedly a top-end NFL linebacker, and defensive tackle Ed Oliver -- a top-10 pick in 2019 -- is coming on in Year 3. But Milano embodies Buffalo's largely overachieving defense. Among its best players are a fifth-round pick (Milano), a seventh-round pick (safety Jordan Poyer) and a fourth-round slot corner out of Weber State (Taron Johnson).
An interesting tie to Sunday's matchup for the Bills is Washington DT Jonathan Allen also made the list as many consider him one of the more complete interior defenders in the league. He has three sacks on the season already.