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Five things to know about Bills' new linebacker Tremaine Edmunds

The Bills traded up to draft Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds 16th overall. Here are five things to know about him:

1. He has so much potential.

Scouts raved over Edmunds' athleticism, and at just 19 years old, he has plenty of room to get even better. He's a rangy, 6-foot-5, 250-pounder who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds at the Combine. All that promise comes with some risk, of course – it's not a guarantee he'll blossom – but the Bills got a top player at the position who could become the centerpiece of coach Sean McDermott's defense.

2. He's unusually young.

Edmunds turns 20 on May 2. According to data on Pro Football Reference, Edmunds could become the second-youngest player to ever play in an NFL game. In 2007, Houston defensive tackle Amobi Okoye was 20 years, 91 days old when he made his first start. If Edmunds plays in the Bills' opener, he will be 20 years, 130 days. (Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster made headlines for being young last season; he was 20 years, 292 days on his first game.)

"It's a little bit unusual that he is 19," McDermott said. "You don't find that every year, that type of athlete at that age. We bring in a number of players, we're able to bring in 30 by league rules, so we brought Tremaine in and also met him at the Combine. So we had multiple interactions with him, and part of those interactions involved going through the mental part of the evaluation as well. So we were comfortable."

3. He fills the Bills' biggest remaining need.

After drafting quarterback Josh Allen earlier Thursday, middle linebacker was team's biggest need. Edmunds can play any linebacker position but is expected to fill that role, though coach Sean McDermott was noncommittal on immediately slotting him there. Prior to the draft, 2017 sixth-round pick Tanner Vallejo was top middle linebacker on the depth chart.

"He's a versatile athlete," McDermott said. "He's got size, length. He's played inside, he's played outside as well. He's played on the line of scrimmage, off the line of scrimmage. So some of that flexibility, versatility, whatever word you want to use, is what attracted us to him."

Bills trade up again, this time for Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds

4. Football is a family affair.

Edmunds' father, Ferrell, was a tight end for the Dolphins and Seahawks from 1988-95 and was a two-time Pro Bowler. Edmunds has two older brothers who play football, too: Trey is a tight end for the Saints, and Terrell was a safety for the Hokies who is also in this year's draft.

5. His NFL player comparison is ... Brian Urlacher.

That's a heck of a compliment from NFL.com. Urlacher was an eight-time Pro Bowler and a four-time All-Pro with the Bears from 2002-12. He was a first-ballot Hall-of-Fame selection this year. That should give you an idea of his ceiling.

 

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