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2011 NFL Draft Results: Bills Select ILB Kelvin Sheppard

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ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 4: Kelvin Sheppard #11 of the LSU Tigers tackles Johnny White #34 of the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Georgia Dome September 4 2010 in Atlanta Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 4: Kelvin Sheppard #11 of the LSU Tigers tackles Johnny White #34 of the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Georgia Dome September 4 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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With the No. 68 overall pick (third round) in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills have selected LSU inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard.

A 6'2", 250-pound 'backer coming off a highly productive career with the Bayou Bengals, Sheppard is a player that Chan Gailey, George Edwards and Buffalo's defensive coaching staff had at the 2011 Senior Bowl. (Ironically, his new position coach, Dave Wannstedt, was not in Mobile that week, having just started his new job.)

This is a slightly curious pick, if only because it seems a tad early. Clearly, inside linebacker is a massive need for the Bills and their league-worst run defense. As instinctive as Sheppard is, he's also a marginal athlete that has struggled to stack and shed consistently. He'll likely be asked to thump as a Mike inside linebacker, but he doesn't strike me as a guy that can step in and start immediately. He is, however, a heady and experienced defender, and the type of on-field general the unit currently lacks. He absolutely has starter's upside.

He'll certainly have the opportunity to start, given the fact that Paul Posluszny is a free agent and the team has a dearth of talent at the position. Leave your thoughts on the Sheppard selection right here; the Bills don't have any more picks today.