Expectations are high for the Buffalo Bills‘ rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso. Higher perhaps than for most other players taken late in the second round, but that’s what happens when you’re the first defensive player off the board for a team with one of last year’s worst NFL defenses.
The good news for Alonso is that he has the skills to prove hopeful fans right. Not only that, new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine‘s defensive scheme is tailor-made for a player like Kiko. Versatility proved to be a key to the Bills new gameplan on both sides of the ball throughout OTA’s, and Alonso is nothing if not versatile. He is the definition of an all-purpose linebacker, and has shown that he can be plugged in at any of the LB positions and make an impact. This is perfect for Pettine’s unpredictable, aggressive scheme, and another reason why Alonso is poised to make an immediate impact.
Before he can do that, however, Alonso has a lot more work to do. Most of what he should be focused on heading into training camp involves familiarizing himself with the Bills playbook and working his way up through the rotation. Throughout OTA’s, Alonso mostly saw reps with the Bills second-team defense, so he clearly still has more to prove.
Nonetheless, Alonso is in a great position to succeed, and whether or not he does is entirely up to him. If he approaches training camp as an opportunity to learn and improve, it shouldn’t be long before we see Kiko Alonso among the Bills defensive starters.