Buffalo thrilled Denver passed on Dareus

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills were thrilled to have Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus on the board with the third overall draft choice Thursday night.

DareusDareusBills general manager Buddy Nix and head coach Chan Gailey just met with reporters here at One Bills Drive to discuss their new player.

Nix said if Dareus wasn't on the board, the Bills "very likely" would have considered taking Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert rather than another defensive player such as Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller.

Up until the past couple days, Nix thought the Denver Broncos would take Dareus with the second pick. The Broncos took Miller instead.

"It's like Christmas, opening presents," Nix said. "We really didn't think he'd be there, but we're excited about having him."

Nix said Dareus "is about as close as it gets" to a safe draft pick in the NFL.

Dareus is remarkably versatile and could fit any scheme. Gailey envisions Dareus as a defensive end in their 3-4 alignment, but added, "I can see him lining up in a lot of different spots for us as times goes on."

In addition to solidifying Buffalo's feeble run defense, he will help their anemic pass-rush, too. The Bills allowed a league-worst 169.6 rushing yards a game. Only three teams recorded fewer than the Bills' 27.

"Sometimes people have not given him enough credit as a pass-rusher," Gailey said. "He can get on the edge of a guard. That's where he had most of his success as a pass-rusher, between the tackles. But he's a good guy coming off the outside edge as well.

"He'll have an impact. If nothing else, with him hanging around the middle in there, it doesn't allow anybody [on the offense] to go out and chip and help outside. It makes them stay inside."

Added Nix: "He can finish plays. When he gets to the quarterback, we'll have to let him know they do fine you in this league."