Bills' All-Pro earns placement among NFL's elite in LB rankings

The Buffalo Bills' star is getting some respect this offseason.
Bills linebacker Matt Milano celebrates one of four sacks of Miami   s Skylar Thompson.
Bills linebacker Matt Milano celebrates one of four sacks of Miami s Skylar Thompson. / JAMIE GERMANO / USA TODAY NETWORK

To borrow a quote from comedian Rodney Dangerfield: “Respect, I can’t get no respect.”

We mention the iconic quote because this is how the Buffalo Bills linebackers must have felt all offseason, especially Matt Milano. Various publications over the summer have failed to mention (or severely under-ranked) Milano in their positional rankings, and some have called for the Bills to cut the former All-Pro entirely. Finally though, as we close in on the start of training camp, Jordan Dajani of CBS Sports gave Milano his much-earned respect. 

In his top-20 linebackers ranking, Dajani has the Bills star ranked as the fifth-best linebacker in the NFL. This is what Dajani says about Milano: “In 2022, he earned his first All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections after recording 99 combined tackles, 11 passes defensed, 1.5 sacks and three interceptions.” Milano also had a stellar start to his 2023 season, recording 30 combined tackles, two interceptions, two broken passes, and one forced fumble. That stat line was achieved in just four full games. 

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Milano has arguably been Buffalo's most consistently impactful defender since ascending to a starting role midway through his rookie campaign in 2017. He's recorded 488 combined tackles throughout his decorated career, putting his innate nose for the football on display to the tune of 10 interceptions, 39 pass deflections, and nine fumble recoveries.

There are some question marks around Milano’s health and age -- coming off a fractured tibia while turning 30 is no easy feat. But general manager Brandon Beane believes that he’ll come back even stronger, saying this to fans during a pre-draft event: “Matt’s been doing great… he’s progressing, working his way back.” 

If Milano is healthy as the season starts and gets back to this form, he’ll certainly re-cement his status as a top-five linebacker in the NFL.

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