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Marcell Dareus ready to be a star for Buffalo Bills

As we count down the days to training camp, Around the League will examine one player from every team set for a breakout campaign in 2012. We did the New York Jets first. Next up: The Buffalo Bills

Marcell Dareus is set to be a star

Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus wasn't ever especially likely to make big noise as a rookie like Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green. Dareus plays a position (defensive tackle) that takes time to learn. Furthermore, many of his duties in Buffalo last year had to do with occupying blockers. That doesn't garner much attention, even though he recorded a respectable 5.5 sacks.

Making the Leap

Around the League will pick from each NFL team one player who's poised for a breakout season in 2012:

AFC East
Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
49ers | Cardinals | Rams | Seahawks

After a slow start, Dareus proved that he's going to be a keeper. ProFootballFocus ranked Dareus the No. 12 defensive tackle in the entire league last year. His best four games came in Weeks 6, 8, 14 and 16. He excelled as a pass rusher, ranking fifth according to ProFootballFocus' pass-rush metrics. Watching Dareus on tape, his combination of size, power and agility is remarkable. There's a reason NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock ranked him as the best player in last year's draft.

Everything this offseason points to a monster season in 2012 for Dareus:

• He will get a full offseason to work on his game and a season of experience, during which he learned how to be a pro.

• The Bills changed defensive schemes this offseason, and there will be more four-man fronts. Dareus won't have to occupy blockers as much this year.

• The players around Dareus have vastly improved. Kyle Williams is back at defensive tackle, while Mario Williams and Mark Anderson are on the outside.

Defenses are often going to have to single-block Dareus. After watching him toward the end of 2011, he is not a player you want to single-block.

Don't be shocked if Dareus -- and not Kyle or Mario Williams -- winds up leading Buffalo's impressive defensive line.

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