With Kiko Alonso thriving off of a spectacular rookie season, the question rises as to who is the best inside LB pick of all time for the Buffalo Bills, and is Kiko already on that list?
With a rookie campaign like Alonso had, his name is in the discussion without a doubt. Some other tough LB’s to be drafted by the Bills include: Shane Conlan, Darryl Talley, Sam Cowart and Paul Posluszny.
The two inside backers from Penn State make for good argument, as Conlan and Posluszny both played extremely well during their tenure in Buffalo. Poz only had four seasons in the B-Lo, remaining as consistent as any ILB in the league and is still doing so in Jacksonville producing similar numbers.
Conlan was a big building block of the Bills AFC dominance in the late 80’s and early 90’s, contributing 6 great seasons in Buffalo from 1987-92. He received the NFL Rookie of the year award in 1987, and enjoyed three straight pro bowls for the Bills, proving his abilities throughout the league.
Sam Cowart was a very good player, much like Poz in Buffalo. From 1998-01 Sam played a stout ILB for the Bills earning pro bowl recognition. He then went on to produce good numbers for the Jets and Vikings before retiring.
Darryl Talley mostly played as an outside backer, but I’d be damned if the Bills true Ironman wasn’t on this list. Talley never missed a game throughout his twelve year career in Buffalo, and tallied a franchise leading 1,137 tackles along with 38.5 sacks. It is confusing as to why Darryl’s accomplishments fly under the radar because when it comes down to it he is the best LB to play in Buffalo—YET.
So, amidst the drafted LB group, where does Kiko Alonso land?
Alonso is at the top of the ranks, right under Darryl Talley. If you think it’s too early to put him that high on the list already–hear me out for a second.
In his first year Kiko has already amassed 159 total tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries. He played very well in the passing lanes as well collecting 4 interceptions and 4 pass deflections. On this pace, Kiko is set to break Talley’s tackle record by his 7th season in Buffalo, a feat that took Talley 12 seasons.
If Alonso can keep any sort of consistency with his play next season this conversation will be even more in depth. His development as a professional is something to keep in mind, even though I am sure his play will already have your eye on him.
We cannot put Kiko in front of Darryl Talley on this list just yet. Talley has left too big of a void to be filled by a youngster already. But young Kiko is on pace to have his name at the top of almost every defensive category before his playing days are over.