Bills draft Louisville LB Brown with 73rd pick

East linebacker Preston Brown (2), of Louisville, takes the field prior to an East-West Shrine Classic NCAA football game in St. Petersburg, Fla., Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
East linebacker Preston Brown (2), of Louisville, takes the field prior to an East-West Shrine Classic NCAA football game in St. Petersburg, Fla., Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills have selected Louisville linebacker Preston Brown with the 73rd pick in the NFL draft.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 251 pounds, Brown started 36 of 52 games over four seasons at Louisville. He’s versatile enough to play the outside and middle positions. He finished with seven career sacks, including a career-best 4-1/2 last season, and 21-1/2 tackles for a loss.

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Brown provides depth to a revamped group of linebackers with the Bills making the switch to a 4-3 scheme under new coordinator Jim Schwartz. The former Lions coach was hired by the Bills in January after Mike Pettine took over the Cleveland Browns’ head coach.

The defense will feature two new starting linebackers after Buffalo signed Brandon Spikes and Keith Rivers in free agency. And Kiko Alonso is shifting outside after a solid rookie season last year.

The Bills turned their attention to defense after focusing on offense with their first two selections.

Buffalo opened the draft Thursday by trading up to select Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins with the fourth pick. On Friday, they moved down three spots in the second round and picked Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio at No. 44.

The Bills have four picks over the final four rounds on Saturday.

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