Five things to know about new Bills OL Dion Dawkins - The Buffalo News
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Five things to know about new Bills OL Dion Dawkins

1. He's got positional versatility. Most draft analysts list Dawkins as a guard, but he played left tackle at Temple earning second-team All-American Athletic Conference nods in both 2015 and '16. Overall he started 40 of 44 games in his college career.

Asked at the NFL Scouting Combine about being able to play guard or offensive tackle, Dawkins said "it's basically getting two boxes of pizza for the price of one. It's a blessing that I have the opportunity to play multiple positions well. I'm planning on learning center, too."

Dawkins is listed at 6-foot-4 and 314 pounds, with 35-inch arms.

2. He doesn't have the clean background of the Bills' first two picks. Dawkins was arrested in March 2015 with teammate Haason Reddick for an assault outside a Philadelphia nightclub. Although he wasn't suspended, he served in a diversionary program. Dawkins and Bills coach Sean McDermott largely sidestepped questions about that incident Friday.

Dawkins said he was "moving on," while McDermott said the team "did its homework."

At the combine, however, Dawkins was more open about the situation.

"I tell them exactly what it was," he said. "I tell 'em the full story from front to end, and I own it. Because I'm a man, and nobody's perfect. Things happen, whether you're guilty or not. I was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and I had to deal with the consequences.

"It made me the man I am today. When football was taken away from me, I see life in a totally different view now. It was taken away from me from stuff I could've controlled."

McDermott said "if we weren’t comfortable with it, we wouldn’t have gone in this direction. That said, I don’t take those situations lightly at all. At all."

3. He was a college teammate of Shaq Lawson. Dawkins and Lawson played together at Hargrave Military Academy in 2012. His one year at Hargrave put Dawkins on the map. He was not a rated recruit after high school, but earned a two-star rating after his season at Hargrave, eventually signing with Temple.

"I wasn't highly recruited. Cincinnati kind of left me to dry," Dawkins said. Former Temple coach Matt Rhule "came in with the o-line coach at the time … The way that they were speaking to me and what they were saying, I honestly felt like I could trust them. I thought, If I give everything I have to this guy, on and off the field, and see what he has to mix up, let's see what happens in four years."

4. Dawkins was one of just four true freshman to start at left tackle in 2013. The others were Ole Miss' Laremy Tunsil, Pitt's Dorian Johnson and Virginia Tech's Jonathan McLaughlin. Dawkins started just two games before suffering a season-ending foot injury in game five.

5. His role models are ... Steelers center Mike Pouncey and Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams. That's who the 23-year-old says he models his game after.

 

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