Senior Bowl D-linemen catch Bills' eyes

Tom Donahoe attended the Senior Bowl practices this week in Mobile, Ala. and took an active interest in the defensive linemen. Among the players who caught his eye were Ohio State defensive tackle Kenny Peterson, Oklahoma State defensive tackle Kevin Williams and Nebraska defensive end Chris Kelsay. Let's take a look at each.

Kenny Peterson, DT/DE, Ohio State, 6'2", 293 – Peterson came into his senior year as a fourth- to fifth-round NFL prospect, but Ohio State's performance and his dominating effort against Miami in the national championship increased his value, so much so that unless Buffalo trades up, he would probably not be available in the second round. Peterson can play defensive tackle and end. He's tough and quick, but has trouble sometimes when blockers really engage him. He showed improvement in that area, however, at the Senior Bowl practices. He's flexible and athletic and might be a good fit in Buffalo's defense, which focuses more on athletic defensive tackles rather than big wide-body tackles who simply take up space. Some scouts think Peterson would be a better defensive end in the pros.

Kevin Williams, DT, Oklahoma State, 6'4", 301 – Williams has strength, quickness and moves, and he attacks linemen with violence. Like Peterson, however, he sometimes allows a blocker's hands to get inside of him, which neutralizes his effectiveness. As with most college football players, he relies on superior talent, but will have to develop the technique portion of his game in the pros. Williams' college coach thinks he'd be a better end, but could be an effective tackle if he adds some more weight. Like Peterson, Williams seems to be another good fit for Buffalo at DT because of his quickness and athleticism.

Chris Kelsay, DE, Nebraska, 6'4", 270 – Kelsay is fast and explosive, but he's undersized, and at the Senior Bowl practices, was sometimes beaten by bigger tackles. The coaches moved him to outside linebacker in the 3-4 for some drills, in which he showed his athleticism as a sideline-to-sideline player. But that's if he operates uncovered. If a lineman slips out and engages him, however, he has a problem getting free. Now Buffalo is looking for outside linebackers and defensive ends, but the problem with ‘tweeners – guys who float between two spots, particularly end and linebacker – is that they often have a hard time adjusting to any position.


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