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2017 NFL Re-Draft: Buffalo Bills take Matt Milano in the second round, bypassing Zay Jones

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A big jump for a Bills linebacker

In 2017, the Buffalo Bills were able to snag linebacker Matt Milano in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. In the SB Nation NFL bloggers’ re-draft, we picked him in the second round. Quite a jump for Milano, who goes from 163 overall to 44.

According to Pro Football Reference, Milano’s career average value ranks 17th among the 2017 draftees. It’s a steal for the Bills to nab him at 44 plus his importance to head coach Sean McDermott’s defensive plan can’t be overstated. He is great in pass coverage and is solid as a blitzer.

In order to take Milano, the Bills had to bypass their original second-round pick, wide receiver Zay Jones. Jones was underwhelming in his time in Buffalo before being traded last October. To borrow from the PFR metric, Zay Jones’s combined value for his entire career is below Milano’s 2019 season by itself. To say it another way, the Bills got more out of Milano in 2019 than Jones has done in his entire career to this point.

In the re-draft, Tre’Davious White moved up into the top ten, meaning Buffalo didn’t have a chance to select him. Instead, we picked T.J. Watt to add to the pass rush. Current Bills OT Dion Dawkins went 31st and wasn’t available for our second round pick.

Milano looks to be ready to cash in sometime over the next 12 months as he’s set to become a free agent in March.