The hammer-head linebacker was slated for a big role in the Bills’ defense and could wind up being a steal in the second round.
Buffalo is already without first-round pick Shaq Lawson to start the season after the pass rusher underwent shoulder surgery earlier this offseason. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport delievered more bad news for Bills ‘backers: Kevin Reddick will miss time with an MCL sprain.
After a down season for his defense in 2015, Ryan’s early plans for revamping his defense are being stymied by injuries.
1 to 10 percent: Tony Romo had an MVP-caliber season in 2014, but he didn’t take over as the starter until age 26 and has made only four Pro Bowls. He has neither the longevity nor the peak to seriously threaten. … Zack Martin has made Pro Bowls in each of his first two seasons, but it’s virtually impossible for an interior lineman to make serious HOF headway after two years.
Dez Bryant rolled off three consecutive monster seasons before a foot injury blew up his 2015 campaign. His average season during that run — 91 catches, 1,312 receiving yards, 14 touchdowns — would qualify as most star wideouts’ peak campaign. At the moment, Bryant hasn’t done enough. He has two Pro Bowls from those three huge seasons, but he still needs to add quite a bit to his résumé to stand out in a generation with so many incredible wide receivers. If he looks fully healed from the foot injury and doesn’t have any recurrences over the next couple of seasons, Dez will be in much better shape. 25 percent
Tyron Smith has made it to three consecutive Pro Bowls, throwing in an All-Pro berth in 2014. He has the added benefit of being young for his draft class; as mentioned earlier, Smith just finished his age-25 season and doesn’t turn 26 until December. Just over 30 percent of post-merger players who made three Pro Bowls by 25 made it to the Hall of Fame. Elite offensive linemen also typically enjoy longer careers by virtue of the possibility for veteran tackles to kick inside to guard. It certainly appears Smith is in the middle of a long streak of consecutive Pro Bowls. 35 percent
Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has more than 1,000 career receptions and 11,000 receiving yards. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Jason Witten should be about as much of a lock for the Hall of Fame as any active non-quarterback. The only argument you can make is that he hasn’t had a blow-away season, but his consistency has been remarkable. Witten hasn’t missed a game since his rookie season and has caught at least 60 passes for 700 yards in 12 consecutive campaigns. He’s second on the all-time tight end leaderboard for catches and receiving yards behind Tony Gonzalez, and he’ll join Gonzalez in Canton one day. 95 percent
Lance Moore has landed back in the NFC South.
After a two-year stint in the Rust Belt, the 10-year veteran has signed with the Atlanta Falcons, the team announced Friday. Moore reportedly worked out for the Chargers earlier this week before San Diego signed fellow veteran James Jones.
Moore won a Super Bowl during his eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints, with whom he caught 38 touchdowns and compiled 4,281 receiving yards as Drew Brees’ second and third option. He never found his place in Pittsburgh in 2014, but felt rejuvenated with the Lions in 2015, playing in the slot and earning 337 yards on 20 catches in 14 games.