Bills pick Cyrus Kouandjio in 2nd
May, 9, 2014
By Mike Rodak | ESPN.com
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The pick: Cyrus Kouandjio, offensive tackle, Alabama
My take: Predictable choice here. It makes sense. The Bills passed up one of the top offensive tackles when they traded up from No. 9, so they were selecting from the second-level group here. Kouandjio comes from a major program and should compete for a starting job at right tackle. Erik Pears, who turns 32 next month, started 16 games in 2013 but is an upgradeable piece. Between Pears, Kouandjio and Chris Hairston (who spent all of last season on the non-football injury list), the Bills should find a suitable right tackle. Kouandjio has the size (6-foot-6, 310 pounds) that Doug Marrone likes in offensive linemen.
Importance of right tackle: General manager Doug Whaley stressed the importance of the right tackle position in his pre-draft luncheon, noting how speed-based defensive packages now require right tackles to be just as athletic as left tackles. Kouandjio played left tackle at Alabama so he'll need to make the transition to the other side at the pro level. One of the knocks on Kouandjio, though, is his athleticism. Given Whaley's comments about the evolution of right tackle, how Kouandjio holds up against speed rushers will be something to watch.
What's next: The Bills are scheduled to make one more pick Friday night. They'll select at No. 73 overall, early in the third round. If they don't make another trade Friday, they'll head into Saturday with four picks -- one in the fourth round, two in the fifth and one in the seventh. They could be looking for defensive players at this point, and could use depth at defensive end and linebacker.