Buffalo Bills: 4 options with their first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Buffalo Bills (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Buffalo Bills (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Buffalo Bills
Julian Okwara Buffalo Bills (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

3) Julian Okwara

Despite the Bills’ overall impressive showing on defense last year, one area that needs improving is stopping the run. They finished the 2019 campaign ranked 10th in the NFL, giving up an average of just over 103 yards per contest.

One way to strengthen the run defense is to add more defensive linemen. This is where Julian Okwara comes in.

Okwara was unable to show NFL teams what he could do during the combine, due to recovering from a broken leg. This is why a potential first round draft pick should still be available on the following day.

Even before getting hurt, Okwara had already shown what he was capable of, with five sacks, seven tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles. He becomes even more intriguing, when considering what he did a season earlier in college.

The 22-year-old was sensational during his Junior year with Notre Dame. He set college highs with eight sacks, 12.5 tackles for a loss and 39 total tackles.

In truth, Okwara is stronger as pass rusher, which can still prove invaluable on the defensive line. However, the potential is there to improve as a run-stuffer when called upon; this can be helped further by fighting the tendency to position himself in an upright stance.

As with Taylor, Okwara is renowned for his strength and athleticism. He has what you would describe as a long body, while he could even be utilized as a linebacker.

The London, England native has boundless energy and an excellent work ethic, which alludes to him doing everything possible to succeed at the NFL level. He is also arguably underrated in respect of how fast he is.

As already mentioned, Okawara needs to get better against the run. He could also stand to improve his consistency, and of course he needs to show he is fully recovered from his broken leg.

At the very least, Okwara should be able to contribute right away as a key depth player on the Buffalo Bills’ line. However, he has the potential to become a regular starter in the NFL over time.