Friday, May 9, 2014

Whaley expects Kouandjio 'to contribute early'


In the first round, the Buffalo Bills picked the top-rated deep threat receiver in the draft. In the second round, they picked a guy that will help make sure second year quarterback E.J. Manuel has enough time to get the ball out to him.

After trading back three spots and collecting an extra fourth round pick in the process, the Bills selected mountainous offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, formerly of the University of Alabama, with the No. 44 overall pick.

The 6-foot-7, 322-pound tackle turned in an inconsistent effort in 2013 that caused his draft stock to sink from the upper first round down to the middle of the second.

Kouandjio possesses all the traits of a top tackle, but will need solid coaching and development to focus those tools and realize his potential.

Bills general manager Doug Whaley, who viewed Kouandjio as a first round-caliber talent, said via ESPN's Mike Rodak that the former Crimson Tide is a "prototypical right tackle."

"You can't teach aggressiveness and toughness," Whaley added. “We expect [Kouandjio] to be contributing early.”

Buffalo's starting tackles in 2013 were Erik Pears and Cordy Glenn, both of which played all 1,180 of the team's offensive snaps. Due over $9 million this season, expect Whaley to move the underperforming Pears to make room for his massive new lineman.

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