Shortly after the 2016 NFL draft, Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley said that Buffalo's first three picks would start right off the bus. That trio of picks included Shaq Lawson, Reggie Ragland, and Adolphus Washington.
Washington was expected to be a significant contributor as a rookie along Buffalo's defensive line, but it was a bit of a surprise to see him mentioned as a starter so quickly. Perhaps Whaley's statement isn't as surprising as once thought. The analysts over at Pro Football Focus agreed with Whaley's assessment and listed Corbin Bryant as one of five AFC players most at risk of losing their starting job. Here's what PFF said about Bryant and Washington.
Buffalo Bills: DE Corbin Bryant vs. Adolphus Washington
The chance of Rex Ryan emerging from the draft without a defensive lineman was almost nil. He ended up taking two inside the top 80 picks. As it turned out, Shaq Lawson’s shoulder injury was a genuine concern, and the start of his NFL career will be delayed by surgery. However, the other rookie added to the defensive line, tackle Adolphus Washington, can make an instant impact. Kyle Williams has had an outstanding career, but struggled adjusting to Rex Ryan’s scheme before going down with injury before being lost for the year with injury. Replacement Corbin Bryant lacks the pass-rush tools to consistently pressure the QB (67.9 grade) and was only solid against the run (76.6 grade). He generated just 27 combined hurries in 343 snaps in 2015.
In contrast, Washington has pass-rush potential in abundance. He recorded five sacks, eight hits and 35 hurries on course to the third-highest grade rushing the passer among interior D-linemen in a stacked draft class. Chargers No. 3 overall pick Joey Bosa garnered all the headlines, but his teammate was a major part of one of the best defensive fronts in the FBS. He’s less effective against the run (Washington needs to improve against double teams specifically) and effort can be a concern, but for a team devoid of an interior presence to push the pocket, he was an ideal selection in the third round.
Bryant will be given the chance to keep his starting job starting at training camp, but it may not be long until Washington takes over the job.null