ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- After two days of wheeling and dealing that brought Sammy Watkins to Buffalo and shipped Stevie Johnson to the San Francisco 49ers, the Buffalo Bills didn't make any waves with their two selections Friday night.
Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, selected 44th overall after the Bills traded down three spots, was one of the team's 29 pre-draft visitors. He fills a position of need. The Bills were expected to draft a right tackle by the end of third round and they did.
As with many Day 2 picks, Kouandjio doesn't come without question marks. The condition of his knees was a hot topic during the pre-draft process, but the Bills weren't concerned enough to pass him up Friday night.
"Our medical staff cleared him, passed him and we don't have a problem with him long-term or now," general manager Doug Whaley said.
Kouandjio downplayed a report that teams were failing him on physicals because of a reportedly arthritic knee.
"When all the articles came out about my knee, the doctors that did it were pretty well known and they really had a great track record and they cleared it up for me, letting people know that no, in fact nothing is wrong with my knee," Kouandjio said. "I didn't really think too much about it."
At 6-foot-6, 322 pounds, Kouandjio has ideal length and size for his position. There are questions about his athleticism -- he ran one of the slowest 40-yard dash times among offensive linemen at the NFL combine -- but Whaley feels that Kouandjio can overcome the deficiency.
"We're excited about his size and his length and what he may lack in a little foot quickness, he'll make up in length and make them take a bigger arc to get to the quarterback," Whaley said.
In the third round, the Bills stayed put with their original selection and added their first defensive player in the draft. Louisville linebacker Preston Brown, the Bills' selection at No. 73, was projected as a midround pick, but the Bills feel comfortable selecting him early in the third round.
"He played at a high program. Lot of production, lot of good character guys there and played for a great coach at Louisville," player personnel director Jim Monos said. "He was consistent for three years as a starter and fits a lot of things that we're looking for."
Brown isn't expected to slide into the starting lineup for the Bills. Instead, he adds depth behind Keith Rivers (on the strong side) and Brandon Spikes (in the middle) and could eventually replace Spikes, who is on a one-year deal.
The most intriguing part of the Brown selection will be his ability to play in sub packages. Spread offenses have taken defenses out of their base alignment as much as two-thirds of the time, requiring linebackers with greater athleticism who can play in zone schemes and pick up tight ends in coverage.
The Bills have a coverage-adept linebacker in Kiko Alonso, but some scouting reports don't label Brown as that type of player. The Bills are hopeful that Brown can contribute in passing situations.
"He can go side to side. He's probably better against the run than the pass right now, but he can do both," Monos said. "He's a very good athlete."