Pro Football Focus continues to work through each position group and rank the Top 32 players at those positions. Next up were linebackers and it shouldn’t be surprising that the Buffalo Bills had not one but two players ranked pretty high at the position.
The order though could be slightly surprising as Matt Milano was ranked higher than Tremaine Edmunds and by a significant margin. Milano was just outside the Top 10 at number 11 and Sam Monson wrote:
A key player who the Bills retained this offseason, Matt Milano has consistently been a plus coverage defender, earning a 77.3 PFF coverage grade and then an 81.9 mark in consecutive seasons before a relative down year in 2020. Milano gave up just two touchdowns over the past two seasons of play and is a difference-maker for the Bills.
The Buffalo Bills being able to bring Matt Milano was a great move for this team this offseason. As Monson notes, Milano is one of the better coverage linebackers in the NFL. This past season when Milano was out with injury, the Bill really struggled to cover some of the better tight ends in the league like Travis Kelce and Jonnu Smith.
The Bills’ other starting linebacker, Tremaine Edmunds, was a little further down the list and was ranked 24th. While this is not bad, there certainly is room for improvement for the fourth-year linebacker:
Tremaine Edmunds trails only Bobby Wager in tackles for loss or no gain over the past three seasons, and between those plays and his spectacular size and athleticism, it’s not difficult to see what fans and the Bills alike love about him. He remains inconsistent overall, however, offsetting much of those impact plays with negative ones, such as 57 missed tackles and nine touchdowns surrendered over the same time period.
While fans certainly would like to see more from Edmunds, it is easy to forget that he is only 23 years old even though he stepped in as a starter almost immediately after the Bills selected him in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
He has also accomplished a great deal in the past three years, including over 100 total tackles each season. Edmunds also has been named to the Pro Bowl each of the past two seasons.
The combination of Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano certainly gives the Buffalo Bills one of the better starting duos at the position in the NFL. The athleticism both bring to the position gives the coaching staff more flexibility in their scheme and allows them to play more nickel without really giving up too much.