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Is Marcell Dareus shaking off draft disappointment?

By Tim Graham

DareusMugBuffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has frustrated fans over the past couple years.

When he limped off the field against the New York Jets and I tweeted Dareus had an ankle injury, several fans replied they were glad he was out of the game because the 2011 first-round draft pick wasn't doing anything anyway.

Dareus, though, has been productive.

He recorded a pair of sacks and seven tackles in Sunday's victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

"He's played good," Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams said. "It's the same thing that we've talked about, just knowing that he's always had it, just waiting for it to turn it on, and I think we're getting there. You still have to go out and make it happen every week, but he's getting there."

Dareus has 14 sacks, tied with Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions for most by an NFL defensive tackle since 2011. Geno Atkins has 22.5 for the Cincinnati Bengals. shows Dareus is effective beyond sacks. The analytics site ranks Dareus fourth among NFL defensive tackles (minimum 25 percent of his team's snaps) in pass-rushing productivity, a metric that reflects how often a player gets a sack, quarterback hit or hurry.

PFF has Dareus generating meaningful pressure on 10.1 percent of his pass-rush snaps. Suh leads the league at 12.5 percent.

PFF also ranks Dareus seventh in stop percentage, a metric that measures run defense. PFF has charted Dareus for 10 tackles and two missed tackles on 74 run snaps.

Dareus was drafted early in a class that has produced some major NFL contributors among its first 10 picks: Cam Newton, Von Miller, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson, Julio Jones, Aldon Smith and J.J. Watt. That group has been to 10 Pro Bowls already.

Williams conceded Dareus might be feeling that pressure to perform.

"Knowing him, yeah, he probably does," Williams said. "I think different guys are wired in different ways. I think he pays attention to that, what;s going on with the guys around him, the guys that were drafted around him. I think that kind of fuels him a little bit."


Kyle Williams | Marcell Dareus
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |