The Buffalo Bills already have an elite-level defensive lineman in Kyle Williams, whose versatility allows the team to play him at several different positions to try to create mismatches.
The Bills also have a shiny new Top 5 pick in Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus that has, if anything, better positional versatility. That might tempt the Bills to want to do the same thing with Dareus as they do with Williams: play him at multiple positions to try to get advantageous matchups.
At least to begin his rookie season, however, that may not be the most prudent decision. Dareus was the No. 3 overall pick in April's draft, and we'll use last year's No. 3 overall pick - Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy - as a cautionary tale for expecting too much from Dareus. McCoy, who started off very slowly last season and then was injured as soon as things started to click, swears up and down that learning multiple positions made him an ineffective player early last season.
"My first snap as an NFL player against Cleveland, I didn’t even play [tackle]," McCoy said recently. "I was an end. I was moving all around. So, finally, I just said to Coach, ‘Man, please let me play one position so I can learn it’... After that, things started working for me, and I took that tape and (looked) at what I was doing right and I just built off of that."