4. Dion Dawkins
When Dion Dawkins was drafted, some questioned whether he could make it as a tackle or if he could only be a guard at the NFL level. Not only did Dawkins make it as a tackle in his rookie campaign but he excelled in the role. He began on the bench getting limited snaps, but when Cordy Glenn got injured Week 2 he was upgraded to first-string and would fill in admirably at the spot as a starter for 11 games over the course of the season.
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This year he faces a new challenge with the loss of Eric Wood, Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito in the offseason. It’s now up to Dawkins to become a leader and take his game to the next level as the team’s best lineman. He was one of the best rookie offensive tackles last season and even held his own when rated against the veterans at his position.
Dawkins excels at run blocking and while adequate in the passing game, that would be the area he needs to improve in during his sophomore season.
The quarterbacks on the Bills roster don’t have the ability to scramble the way Tyrod Taylor did, but they should get the ball out quicker, requiring him to hold his blocks for less time in pass situations and making his life easier.
Dawkins quickly made the leap from not starting to being the anchor of the Bills line last season. This year, he should be able to continue that upward trajectory and end up as the fourth-best player on the Buffalo Bills in 2018.