Buffalo traded Kelvin Sheppard to the Indianapolis Colts for Jerry Hughes on Monday in swap of linebackers two days after the NFL draft.
Sheppard, a 2011 second-round pick from LSU, has been inconsistent in two seasons in Buffalo. He had 138 tackles and two sacks in 31 games, including 24 starts.
Hughes was the Colts' 2010 first-round draft pick from TCU. He's had 62 tackles and five sacks in 40 games, including seven starts, but had difficulty finding his niche on the Colts defense.
Used initially as a defensive end, Hughes made the switch to linebacker with the Colts last season.
At 6-foot-2 and 254 pounds, Hughes' versatility could be a better fit on a Buffalo defense that's in transition under new coach Doug Marrone and new coordinator Mike Pettine.
The move is the latest change to Buffalo's linebackers this offseason. Buffalo released starter Nick Barnett in February, and signed Manny Lawson in free agency last month.
The Bills also added a linebacker in the draft, selecting Oregon's Kiko Alonso with the 46th pick. Alonso is a hard-hitting player who spent most of his three-year college career playing in the middle.
Hughes became expendable in Indianapolis after the draft, too. The Colts used their first-round pick, 24th overall, to draft defensive end/linebacker Bjoern Werner from Florida State.
Sheppard was strictly a middle linebacker, who was part of a unit that struggled against the run in each of the past two seasons.