Though it did not end harmoniously, Buffalo did make an excellent selection in the 2011 NFL Draft by taking Alabama Crimson Tide defensive tackle Marcell Dareus with the No. 3 overall pick. This same draft saw the Carolina Panthers take Auburn Tigers quarterback Cam Newton No. 1 overall and the Denver Broncos land Texas A&M Aggies pass rusher Von Miller at No. 2.
While Dareus does not play for the Bills anymore, he was an impactful player during his 6.5 years with the team before being traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars mid-season in 2017.
Dareus made two Pro Bowls with the Bills in 2013 and 2014. He earned All-Pro honors during the 2014 campaign, where he had 35 tackles, 14 assists, 10.0 quarterback sacks, a pass deflection and a forced fumble in 15 games.
Though immensely talented, the Bills’ investment in Dareus was not as fruitful as Carolina’s in Newton or Denver’s in Miller from that same draft class. It should be noted that wide receiver A.J. Green, cornerback Patrick Peterson and wide receiver Julio Jones went No. 4 to No. 6 to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Arizona Cardinals and the Atlanta Falcons respectively after him.
Dareus would make his first trip to the AFC playoffs as a member of the 2017 Jaguars, the same team that beat Buffalo in the AFC Wild Card round down in Jacksonville.
In 91 career games with the Bills, Dareus had 205 tackles, 95 assists, 35.0 quarterback sacks, 12 passes defended, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.