Cyrus Kouandjio Valuable On Either Side

NEW YORK -- catches up with Alabama's latest NFL product, Cyrus Kouandjio, shortly after being selected by the Buffalo Bills on Friday evening.

Cyrus Kouandjio was the no. 1 rated offensive tackle by coming out of DeMatha Catholic HS (MD) in 2011. The junior eligible 6-6, 322 pound native of Cameroon flourished as a left tackle for the Tide. He was a consensus First Team All-American and unanimous First Team All-SEC selection in 2013.

"Radioactive" by the alternative rock band Imagine Dragons was the theme song as the highly motivated Kouandjio walked across the stage to shake the hand of NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. Projected as a first round talent early in the process, the Buffalo Bills selected him in the second round, 44th overall. Kouandjio was the seventh tackle taken off the board. The bulldozing offensive tackle with a chip on his shoulder the size of a Buffalo is anxious to prove the AFC East Division team made a wise choice. Don't bet against the determined giant eager to dominate opposing defensive lineman.

Buffalo, the league leader in rushing attempts, has projected him to be a perfect fit as a right tackle in their run-oriented offense. "That's great for me," said Kouandjio. "I take pride in running the football and I take pride in taking a man against his will in a direction that he does not choose." Pride in performance is a mantra spoken like a true Saban disciple.

Broad shoulders, long arms and an athleticism unique to a tall powerful offensive lineman allowed Kouandjio to register 31 touchdown saving blocks and 244 key blocks/knockdowns during the two years as a starter. He appeared in 35 games at the important position of left tackle. Thirty-eight pancake blocks by the barrel chested angular Kouandjio contributed to Alabama running backs gaining over 100-yards rushing seventeen times over a two-year span. Primarily known as an excellent run blocker, he is a capable pass protector due to footwork developed playing soccer as a youngster. He allowed only five sacks on 693 pass attempt as a two-year starter during regular season games.

Alabama Offensive Tackles selected in the first round of the NFL Draft: (*Chosen during the Nick Saban era)

2000 Chris Samuels, Washington Redskins, 3rd overall

2009 *Andre Smith, Cincinnati Bengals, 6th overall

2011 *James Carpenter, Seattle Seahawks, 25th overall

2013 *D.J. Fluker, San Diego Chargers, 11th overall

John Garcia Jr. contributed to this feature.

BamaMag Top Stories