Buffalo Bills: 2020 Season Outlook for A.J. Klein
This is our projections for Buffalo Bills linebacker A.J. Klein this coming season.
The Buffalo Bills were forced to find a replacement for Lorenzo Alexander after he retired after a 14-year career in the NFL. Even though the Bills operate out of a nickel defense, two linebackers on the field, a majority of the time Lorenzo Alexander was a key piece to this defense.
While the Buffalo Bills didn’t find an exact replacement to what Alexander brings to this defense, the addition of A.J. Klein should be a boost for this team this coming season. Klein was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He would go on to play four seasons in Sean McDermott’s defense when he was the defensive coordinator.
During that time, Klein was not a full-time starter but was a key part of the defense as he was their primary backup at all three positions. He started 23 games during his time with the Panthers in place of injured starters and had 146 total tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, four sacks and four forced fumbles.
The past three seasons he played for the New Orleans Saints and was one of their starting linebackers during this time. He would start 42 games and finished with 193 total tackles, 18 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
2020 Season Outlook for A.J. Klein
The question now is what can Buffalo Bills fans expect from A.J. Klein in his first year with the team? He will step into the starting role alongside Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano however as mentioned previously, he isn’t an exact replacement for what Lorenzo Alexander brought to this defense.
Last year, Alexander played only 48% of the defensive snaps but the two seasons prior it was over 60% and A.J. Klein will likely hover around that mark. The reason is that Klein is a better linebacker in coverage than Alexander so the coaching staff can keep him on the field more.
The experience Klein has in this defense should help him get off to a fast start and be a key contributor this coming season.
Prediction: 56 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles