Bills’ Best Bets at OT in the 2019 NFL Draft

The Bills, and their quarterback’s health, are only going to be as good as their offensive line, and the trade of Cordy Glenn, plus the losses of Richie Incognito, and Eric Wood, have proven costly indeed.

Last year, when Dion Dawkins was drafted, Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane mentioned his qualities in their pressers, which I’ll take as an archetype for the OT position. They like their outside linemen to be versatile, have long arms, be athletic, be a “tough run blocker for this climate who controls the line of scrimmage”, be able to play both OT or OG, and play on the left or right side. No pre-snap penalties is high on his list, too. I talked to Longball, DraftTek’s O-Line and Cowboys Analyst, about the kind of player the Bills should look for, and he said, “You’d need that hybrid type of tackle that Dallas has been drafting: athletic, with good quick feet, with a good kick slide. And it will depend on how high you are willing to draft them.” Longball specifically mentioned several players, including Hyatt, who went back for his senior year.

 

Jonah Williams Alabama
6-5, 301 5.02
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A relentless film rat, Williams’ intent and drive is on getting better. He keeps a notebook where he writes down three emphases for his next practice, based on his previous night’s film study. Add to the fact that Jonah played for Daboll last year, and he becomes the preeminent Bills’ fit. With one more year of eligibility, Williams may not declare for 2019’s draft, but one can hope. He suffered a high ankle sprain and ruptured his deltoid in the National Championship game against Georgia’s Bulldogs, so he has the goal to contribute fully in college’s most-important game. Measure this quote on the McBeane-O-Meter: “I don’t play because of anger against other teams,” Williams said. “I play because I want to be the best I can be.” The Bills will be looking for linemen this year and next, so we’ll just have to see when Williams declares. In McDermott’s eyes, he’s ready now. DraftTek’s OL Analyst, Longball, loves Jonah Williams, too, saying, “I could talk all day about Jonah Williams . . . he’s my #1 OT prospect. The underclassman is not only strong and athletic, but fundamentally sound . . . a true technician who can efficiently execute a variety of blocks seemingly without breaking a sweat! Williams has a solid anchor due to a low center of gravity (even at 6’5″), natural strength, the footwork of a “dancing bear” in pass protection, which includes an extremely-quick kick-slide, compact well-timed punches, and vice grips where his hands should be! He will require your RD1 pick, but you can plug him in at LOT for the next decade.”  I won’t even take him down a click because of the Bills’ imperfect experience with another ‘Bama OT, Kouandjio.    Fit For Bills: A+

Max Scharping Northern Illinois
6-6, 320 5.29
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Scharping has many checks on McBeane’s list, both for on-field and off-the-field accomplishments. Good Works Award? Check.  Smarts? Academic All-American. At home in cold weather? Scharping’s home is Green Bay. Durability? Check; 48 straight games and counting. Swing-tackle versatility? Yep; Scharping’s freshman and sophomore seasons were at RT and he spent last season and this year at LT. Pass-protection for Josh Allen? This is Scharping’s best suit; his OL led the FBS in fewest sacks allowed in 2017. In 425 snaps last year, Scharping yielded only 5 QB pressures, and defenders have registered no sacks against him over the last two years. He began the year as Pro Football Focus’s highest-rated tackle in the draft, with pass-blocking efficiencies of 98.9 in 2016, and 99.2 in 2017    Fit For Bills: A+

 

 

Mitch Hyatt Clemson
6-5, 305 5.08
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Hyatt won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the ACC’s best offensive lineman last year, and it was a surprise he didn’t declare for the draft in April. Widely predicted to already be a 2017 RD1 pick, Hyatt returned along with several of his teammates, aiming to be Clemson’s only three-time First-Team All-ACC selection. That consistency over four years will make McBeane drool. Hyatt’s also returning to Clemson because he wants to improve “every little thing” about his game, specifically his footwork and position of his hands while pass-blocking. That attention to detail will go a long way in NFL War Rooms. So will his 100 knockdown blocks and what could be 56 collegiate games.  Fit For Bills: A+

 

Derwin Gray Maryland
6-5, 330 — —
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Derwin Gray was the Terrapin tackle who helped Maryland rush for an obscene 1,940 yards last year. That’s 161.7 yards per game. That’s in keeping with the run-first mentality that gets Great Lakes teams wins late in the year.  Gray plays on special teams and, despite weighing 330 pounds, blocked a field goal attempt in Maryland’s victory over Texas. Gray was originally recruited by Mike Locksley, who coached with Brian Daboll last year at ‘Bama. Along with Damian Prince, Gray was 4th-rated in pass-blocking efficiency in the Big Ten.  Fit For Bills: A+

Dalton Risner Kansas St
6-5, 300, 5.1
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Like “Horrible Harry”, Risner’s a high-character prospect. He has his own philanthropic organization, RiseUp. He works with children at Camp Hope, in schools and retirement homes, he runs charity rodeos. Yee-HAH! Add to the fact that he’s Pro Football Focus’s #1 OT prospect and a great fit for a ZBS blocking scheme, and he’s a natural fit. Possessing nice mobility and excellent pass blocking out of the gate, he needs to add weight using the NFL’s best weight room. Risner is athletic, but he’s like Connor Williams who the Cowboys took from Texas . . . he’ll need time in the weight room (late RD3/early RD4).   Fit For Bills: A

 

Andre Dillard  Washington State
6-5, 306 5.23
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Washington State’s blind-side protector for Luke Falk (Titans, RD6) last year, Andre Dillard has decent size coupled with strength and technique, quickness and agility (O-Line coach Clay McGuire calls Dillard one of the Cougars’ best athletes). He’s a fifth-year senior who is a student of the game. Dillard ensured that the FBS’s second-rated passing offense stayed on the field. In fact, he was ranked No. 6 by PFF in pass blocking efficiency (99.8%) on third downs. Dillard’s 91.4 pass-blocking grade was second only to his teammate, Cole Madison (Packers, RD5) among all returning FBS tackles in 2016. Dillard’s working on becoming a stronger run-blocker, as he’s ranked #30 in 2018 draft class. I bet a few plates of wings would work wonders, and maybe a nice new weight room.  Fit For Bills: A

 

Greg Little Ole Miss
6-5, 325 5.23
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Stepping into Laremy Tunsil’s (Dolphins, RD1#13) shoes, Little was Ole Miss’s best OT last season, but while Little may be the most athletic 325-pound player who may enter this draft, his technique is not great. Yet. What he needs is a OL Coach who sweats the deets, one who won’t let players rely on their athleticism. The good news is that Little possesses football intelligence, and seems to learn quickly. PFF gave Little an 85.3 overall grade in 2017, and his 87.3 pass-block grade is well ahead of most newbies. Give our offensive line a 6-foot-6, 332 pounder with smarts and athleticism? I’ll take it. Fit For Bills: A

 

Prince Tega Wanogho  Auburn
6-6, 301 4.78
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Prince Tega is a raw player on a bad OL. Last year, Auburn gave up the second-most sacks in SEC. From last year’s picks of Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds, we know that measurables and upside count a great deal in McBeane’s draft picks. Wanogho has the fastest 40 time (4.78 would win most Combines) and superhuman strength. Add the fact that Wanogho’s been a quick learner since the summer of 2016, when he moved from the defensive line spot to the offensive line, and you have the quintessential high-ceiling player. Auburn coaches noticed raw talent turn into impressive execution in the junior’s first three spring scrimmages this year. If the Bills give him coaching on the subtleties of the position, they’d have an emerging superstar. It will take time, but so does The Process.  Fit For Bills: A

 

Paul Adams Missouri
6-5, 315 5.12
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Missouri’s offensive line allowed the fewest tackles for loss in the country. Quick for his size, long and linear, and aggressive, Adams is the captain on a very tightly-knit OL. He’s a leader both on and off the field, and has a great sense of humor, making him a locker-room favorite. Great kid and great student. He went to high school at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, where he was Offensive Lineman of the Year and a very good basketball player.   Fit For Bills: A

 

Koda Martin Syracuse
6-5, 310 —
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A graduate transfer from Texas A&M to Syracuse to be near his wife, Koda is married to Head Coach Dino Babers’ daughter, Jazzmin. Said Koda’s former coach Kevin Sumlin: “[Jazzmin is] 6-foot-3 and has got about a 38-inch vertical. Koda is about 6-foot-6, 310. I’ve got dibs on the first kid.” The ties to the Orange don’t end there. Koda’s father Kirk is the QB Coach. Those three connections can win you a lot of playing time.   Fit For Bills:  A

 

Kendall Baker Georgia
6-5, 290 —
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Baker makes the McBeane Short List because he trusted The Process. He first joined the Bulldogs as a defensive lineman, was switched over to OG, and still had made zero starts up to his junior year. Undeterred like a real bulldog, Baker never let go, kept working, trusting the process, and Baker will be the starting LG and second-string LT this year. I see the same for him in the NFL.  Fit For Bills: B+

 

Calvin Throckmorton Oregon
6-5, 307 5.12
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Throckmorton’s allure to McBeane is his versatility. He’s played primarily Tackle, but also can play Guard, and Throckmorton even took practice reps at Center when his teammate Hanson sat out the spring practices. The junior has speed to be a pulling lineman from any position, but will it be that “Jack of all trades, master of none” rules the day? Bills have scouted one Oregon game thus far.  Fit For Bills: B+

2 Replies to “Bills’ Best Bets at OT in the 2019 NFL Draft”

  1. Good morning, after the preseason comes to a close this week I’m sure the Bills will be scouring the waiver wire for help on the O-line. Both centers were overwhelmed and the guards got manhandled by the Bengals front four.

    The Bills will need to spend in FA next year when they have plenty of draft money will bolstering the O-line with young talent through the draft.