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Buffalo Bills

A Diamond In The Rough: DT DJ Dale



DJ Dale, UDFA, DT, Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills didn’t draft a DT this year, despite most of the fanbase wanting them to take one at some point. Instead, they signed Alabama DT DJ Dale after the draft concluded, and they may have found a real player here. In his final season at Alabama, Dale totaled 17 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two FF, 14 pressers, and one INT while spending most of the season as a backup. Before being forced to the bench, Dale was a three-year starter for the Crimson Tide’s loaded defense.

The 14 pressures are very intriguing since the Bills have been missing a pass rusher on the interior of the line. Buffalo hasn’t had someone that can consistently get to the QB since Jordan Phillips’ first stint with the team. Standing at 6’1”, 302 lbs, Dale is undersized for his position. However, he makes up for it with his strength and technique, which should help him find a role with the team.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic had a sixth round grade on Dale pre-draft, who lined up everywhere for Saban. Even though he can line up at multiple positions, Dale probably would fit best as a one tech here. The Bills have some flexibility on the interior DL, with Poona Ford and Dale both able to play one and three tech. That should give Poona the edge to get playing time, and Dale to make the roster.

Dale fits best in a rotational defense, which the Bills definitely have with nine other DTs rostered. He would most likely battle with Tim Settle and Jordan Phillips for the fourth (and possibly final) DT spot. With both currently on the final year of their deals, Dale could have a spot on this team in the future.

Current Buffalo Bills DT depth chart:

  • Ed Oliver
  • DaQuan Jones
  • Poona Ford
  • Tim Settle
  • Jordan Phillips
  • DJ Dale
  • Eli Ankou
  • Brandin Bryant
  • Cortez Braughton
  • Kendal Vickers

Featured Image: University of Alabama Athletics