5 biggest draft gems for the Buffalo Bills in the last decade

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1. Matt Milano (Round 5, 2017 Draft)

By far the most talented and impactful player on this list is a player out of Boston College who somehow fell to the fifth. Many scouts believed Milano's peak would be a "top contributor in coverage on special teams"

Milano's size and average athletic ability didn't spark interest in many scouts. Milano's stats in college were impressive, as he recorded 117 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss, and 13 sacks in his last two years. Milano was recognized enough to get two honorable mentions for All-ACC from coaches and media, but that was it. 

Milano fell to the fifth where the Bills used their 163rd pick to draft him. Milano didn't see much playing time in his rookie year, only starting five games but getting a pick-six in one of them. 

Milano got the starting spot in his second year, where he would quietly develop into an effective player. Milano would continue to impress, however there were setbacks that Milano had to fight through in 2020. 

During that time, the Bills had to decide between Milano and Edmunds in terms of who they would commit to, and they chose to sign Milano to a four-year, $41 million deal. 

This was risky because Milano was coming off an injury and being four years older than Edmunds. However, Milano would bounce back in both 2021 and 2022, where he would finally gain recognition in 2022 with a Pro Bowl nod and a First-Team-All-Pro nomination. Unfortunately, Milano would go through another setback in 2023 after a fantastic start to the season.

This next season will be Milano's contract year, and he will look to prove himself once again, just like he did to the scouts who negatively evaluated him. If Milano keeps up his performance, he could be in Buffalo for maybe a whole decade, and that's unheard of for a fifth-round pick unless your name is Kyle Williams.