When the Buffalo Bills traded back into the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft to select offensive lineman Dion Dawkins, many fans speculated that it meant the end of Jordan Mills as the team’s starting right tackle. However, lingering foot and ankle injuries to Cordy Glenn, Buffalo’s left tackle, meant that the rookie would actually play on the left side instead of the right.
In our latest installment of the “90 players in 90 days” series, we profile the man who gave general manager Brandon Beane the confidence to trade Buffalo’s franchise left tackle.
Name: Dion Dawkins
Height/Weight: 6’5” 320 lbs.
Draft: Selected in the second round (63rd overall) by the Buffalo Bills in the 2017 NFL Draft
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Dawkins enters year two of his four-year rookie contract, a pact that totals $4,183,239. In 2018, he will carry a cap hit of $950,736. That cap number is 83rd among all tackles in the NFL.
2017 Recap: By all accounts, Dawkins had a superb rookie season. While there were ups and downs that are typical of rookies, especially those along the offensive line, he was solid in both pass protection and the running game, and he manned quarterback Tyrod Taylor’s blindside well enough that the Bills ere able to deal Glenn and a draft pick to the Cincinnati Bengals in the offseason. Pro Football Focus graded Dawkins at an 80.4, or above-average, for his work on the year. In 11 starts, he was called for 3 penalties while only allowing 3 sacks on the season.
Positional outlook: Dawkins is the clear starter on the left side of the offensive line, and it appears that Jordan Mills will reprise his role as the team’s starting right tackle. Conor McDermott, Marshall Newhouse, Ike Boettger, Gerhard de Beer, Mo Porter, Josh James, and De’Ondre Wesley round out the tackles on the current roster.
2018 Offseason: Dawkins has attended all workouts to date, and he has played exclusively with the first team.
2018 season outlook: The Bills look to have hit on the second of their two second-round selections from the 2017 draft. After an excellent rookie season, Dawkins will look to continue to improve in 2018.