The Bills used their third-round pick, the 73rd overall choice, to take Preston Brown, a middle linebacker from Louisville. Brown, who is 6-1, 251 pounds, was first-team all-AAC last season for a Cardinals defense that led the nation in total defense (251.5 ypg) and rush defense (80.7 ypg).
A Cincinnati native, Brown initially accepted a scholarship from Cincinnati out of high school, but changed his mind and enrolled at Louisville, where he was part of coach Charlie Strong's first recruiting class. He started 11 games at outside linebacker in 2011. He moved to the middle in 2012 and led the Cardinals in tackles for two straight seasons.
With Brown in the middle, Louisville went 23-3 and they were 30-4 overall in games when he started. Brown had 98 tackles, 12.5 for loss and 4.5 sacks this past season. He had three forced fumbles and a 48-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
"I'm excited to get off the board on day two," Strong said Friday night. "I'm just coiming in to
help the team any way I can. I want to help the defense win games. I try to be around the ball, fly to the ball. I'm always going to be the guy trying to rip away the ball."
Jim Monos, the Bills' director of player personnel, said Brown is better against the run, but can also drop into coverage. He described Brown as "a very good athlete.
"He played at a high program," Monos said. "Lot of production, lot of good character guys there and he played for a great coach at Louisville. He was consistent for three years as a starter and fit a lot of things we're looking for.
"Physically, he has size right off the bat. He plays hard. You see him all over the field. He plays on the other side of the ball and has good tackles for loss. He can go side-to-side."
Monos said Brown runs well and will be a factor on special teams. He said Brown made the defensive calls for Louisville.
"Buffalo as a city, I thought it was a nice town," Brown said. "It reminds me a little of my hometown of Cincinnati. It's kind of a big city, but still kind of quiet."
Brown said he knows Bills center Eric Wood, who is also a Cincinnati native and Louisville graduate.
"He comes in to lift sometimes at Louisville," Brown said, "so I've talked to him here and there. But I had no idea we'd end up being teammates."