Buffalo continues D upgrade in third

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills drafted a third straight defender, adding Louisiana State inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard with the 68th pick Friday night.

Why the Bills took him: The Bills already have addressed each level of their defense with a lineman (Marcell Dareus), a defensive back (Aaron Williams) and now a linebacker, a position that was thin last year. Sheppard is considered a smart and emotional leader, and he might need that kind of passion to overcome limitations as a sideline-to-sideline tackler.

How it affects the roster: Veteran linebackers Paul Posluszny and Akin Ayodele are free agents. Sheppard could contribute immediately.

Scouts Inc. says: Good communication skills. Quickly reads keys and reacts. Do not see many false steps from him. Has improved his discipline and rarely got fooled by misdirection or play-action in 2010. Flashes ability to sniff out draws and screens. Shows awareness to go for the strip when wrapping up ball carriers. ... Is technically sound with his hands and will almost always take on blocks properly. He is tough and fearless, but he does not have explosive upper body power. He rarely shocks the blocker with initial pop and he has some trouble disengaging from bigger blockers.