By Tim Graham
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.
ProFootballFocus.com 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."
taggedKyle Williams | Marcell Dareus