Fantasy Reaction: Buffalo Bills Select Kiko Alonso
With the 46th pick (2nd round) in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Bills selected Oregon’s ILB Kiko Alonso. Despite some off-the-field issues while at Oregon, Alonso has cleaned his act up and was able to finish a productive senior year with the Ducks. Although he didn’t receive the media attention that former teammate Dion Jordan garnered, he makes a solid ILB prospect with a bright future in the NFL.
The Bills needed to get better up the middle and against the run (31st), so that’s where they are hoping Alonso will excel. Alonso shoots the gaps well, using his instincts and athleticism to close in on the ball carrier. He’s not afraid of contact and uses his shoulders and hands to shed those blocks. He ran a decent 40 time so he should be able to keep up with opposing running backs in space and in the passing game. He can also get to the QB quick, often guessing snap counts correctly. What Buffalo liked most about Alonso was his scheme versatility and potential to play MIKE in a 4-3/3-4 base or 4-3 OLB.
With his size and speed, Buffalo is going to be counting on him to make plays right away, as he showed recording 14 tackles for loss in his senior year. His off the field issues kept him from playing until his junior season and he did suffer an ACL injury. He needs to overcome some tentativeness and use his quickness to get between the tackles. He’ll also need to improve his range and change of direction when it comes to running backs and their ability to stop on a dime and change direction, as he does get fooled. Most of his deficiencies can be coached up.
College Statistics courtesy of Sports Reference
The Bills took a chance on him in the 2nd round and are hoping his off the field transgressions are a thing of the past. He’s an explosive athlete and that’s what he’ll bring to Buffalo’s defense. In fact, Buffalo entrusts this kid so much, that they moved former 3rd round pick, Kelvin Sheppard, to the Indianapolis Colts.
Alonso has shown solid cover skills, so that will enable him to be a 3-down linebacker and get those nickel snaps alongside Nigel Bradham, which gives him immediate IDP value. It remains to be seen if Buffalo is installing a 3-4 defense, but he’s capable of playing inside. He finished with 81 tackles as a senior, so he has the upside to produce 95+ in a full NFL season. With Sheppard out of the picture, he should be considered a high upside LB3 in re-draft formats and should be one of the first two linebackers off the board in dynasty formats.
Mike Woellert is a Senior Writer for Pro Football Focus Fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @PFF_MWoellert