When the Buffalo Bills traded up for Zay Jones at the beginning of the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, most people thought that would be the end of the fireworks when it came to trades from the team. The Bills weren’t done, however, and traded from the middle of the third round into the back end of the second to select a promising offensive line prospect from Temple.
Name: Dion Dawkins
Height/Weight: 6’4”, 314 lbs.
Draft: Round 2, Pick 63 by the Buffalo Bills (2017)
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): Dawkins’ four-year rookie contract isn’t terribly expensive, and he only counts a shade over $780,000 against the cap in 2017. That escalates to about $1.3 million by the time the deal ends in 2020.
2016 Recap: Dawkins was a three-year starter for the Owls, including their 10-4 campaign in 2016. Temple sported two 900-yard rushers, and Dawkins earned first-team all-AAC honors for his efforts.
Positional Outlook: Cordy Glenn is still dealing with a foot issue, while Seantrel Henderson is still set to serve the final five games of his ten-game suspension from last season. Therefore, Dawkins is not only a lock to make the final roster but could end up being a Week 1 starter at left tackle (where he’s been spending a lot of time practicing lately).
2017 Offseason: Dawkins has earned plenty of first-team work over the summer thanks to Glenn’s foot issues, but hasn’t done much to excel and may only see first-team action at left tackle over the remainder of the preseason by default after Henderson’s poor performance against the Minnesota Vikings. He had every opportunity to earn the top right tackle job at camp, but hasn’t been able to supplant Jordan Mills just yet.
2017 Season Outlook: Time is running out for Dawkins to earn a starting role with the offense as a rookie. He’ll see a prominent role as a top reserve and could fill in if Glenn isn’t ready to go for the regular season due to Henderson’s suspension. Let’s hope he can do a bit more over the next three preseason games to earn the job on merit as opposed to just falling into a starting role.