2020 OT Fits For The Buffalo Bills – Updated 2/25/20

Photo of Georgia LT Andrew Thomas from 247sports.com.

Even though the Bills are currently trying to reconfigure their offensive line, let’s take a look at the upcoming crop of offensive tackles we should be watching this fall.

LT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
6-5, 320
Watch: #71 LT
Thomas fits the Bills’ culture: Persistent and hard working. He’s tough: he endured the RT->LT position change and a 2018 ankle injury, attacking his rehab. Most importantly, Thomas acquitted himself well vs the SEC’s top EDGEs, and there was a lot of them. He’ll be long gone in RD1, as I expect he’ll be the first non-quarterback offensive player taken. Here’s a great scouting report.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Iowa RT Tristan Wirfs from thegazette.com.

RT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
6-5, 320
Watch: RT #74
Wirfs shows his impressive strength (hang-cleans 450 4x) that augments his optimum size to equal power in the Bills’ run game. I am sure Wirfs can move to LT with those vice-grip hands, and he’s a wrestler. With Wirfs and LT Alaric Jackson, Iowa has one of the two top OT combos this year, and either one would make a great pick, but I like Wirfs a bit better. Wirf’s athleticism, balance, and control, along with excellent bend, keeps EDGE rushers at bay. Remember, Nsehke, if he ends up as our swing tackle, is 33 years old and on a 2-year contract. Here’s an in-depth, fair and balanced scouting report. Wirfs will go in the RD1#8 – RD1#13 range because four teams all need Tackles in that 6-pick span.
Fit for Bills: A+

Photo of Louisville LT Mekhi Becton (L) from richmond.com.

LT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
6-7, 355
Watch: LT #73
“Mick-HIGH” Becton, who’ll be a fun guy in the locker room, is soft-spoken, affable, and energetic. He would be hard to miss in OL drills, as his mammoth size will give him away. A human bulldozer is great to have in a PBS blocking scheme, and the video shows him opening holes that Gore, Wade, Singletary, and Co. are dreaming about. Becton was rated as the best pass-blocker in the ACC as a freshman, allowing six pressures in 312 snaps. Our last O-Lineman from Louisville, Eric Wood, would approve. Becton will be drafted in the RD1#13-RD1#22 range, and yes, our pick is that #22. A trade with #17 Dallas to leapfrog #18 Miami might be needed to get Becton plowing roads in Buffalo.
Fit For Bills: A++

Photo of Missouri LT Yasir Durant from wholehogsports.com.

LT Yasir Durant, Missouri
6-7, 330
Watch: LT #70
Durant descriptors: Big, tough, and durably-built. That pickup-truck prototype seems to pervade the Bills’ new-look OL positional group. That also works with the snowplow run game, but in pass pro, Durant allowed the 3rd-fewest QB Pressures in the SEC (after Prince Tega and the Jags’ RD2#35 Jawaan Taylor). I’m nitpicking, but sometimes Durant allowed the EDGE rusher to get in too close to him with hand placements that weren’t exact. Bobby Johnson will fix that. I’m taking no points off his score. Yasir. He’s #110 on my Big Board, and I’d use a bit of a reach to take him in RD3#86, play him at RT, and never look back.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Oregon RT Calvin Throckmorton from 1029thegame.com.

RT Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon
6-5, 318
Watch: RT #54
Throckmorton, who we thought we’d see in the 2019 NFL Draft, has RG experience, and played Center in the Senior Bowl, but he has some OT qualities that might come in handy. The first is his optimum use of arms and hands. That goes a long way in maximizing your leverage in both run and pass protection. Second, Throckmorton mirrors his opponent well just by adjusting the length of his kick slide. He’d be one of the three smartest players on the Bills. Since our Director of College Scouting has more connections in the Southeast (SEC, ACC), I took him down a peg, but only half of our picks have come from those conferences since Beane came. “Doc Throck” would make a nice competition for Ryan Bates for the five-position OL player role, and might last until Pick RD4 or 5A.
Fit For Bills: A

Photo of Mississippi LT Alex Givens from 247sports.com.

LT Alex Givens, Mississippi
6-6, 305
Watch: #67
The Bills’ OL room has been filled with players who are strong in Pass-Block Efficiency (PBE). That’s why Givens is given an A+ Fit. He had 2018’s second-highest PBE in the SEC with a 100 rating (Yasir Durant was #1), and in 2019 was second-highest again to Durant. I can name a couple of EDGE rushers from the SEC. That’s what makes this statement a Major Wow: Givens was the only SEC Left or Right Tackle who didn’t yield a sack all year. That’s why Givens is given an A++ Fit. A former RG who moves over from RT, Givens has the inside track at LT this year, now that Greg Little (Panthers’ RD2#37) is in the NFL. Givens should be available at the Bills’ RD3#86 or a trade-up in RD4, and would play RT or slide inside to Guard, but he’s a better pass-blocker than Ford (did I just say that aloud?).
Fit For Bills: A++

ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 15: TCU Horned Frogs offensive tackle Lucas Niang (#77) prepares for the snap during the Advocare Showdown college football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the TCU Horned Frogs on September 15, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Ohio State won the game 40-28. (Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

RT Lucas Niang, TCU
6-7, 328
Watch: RT #77
Niang has incredible size for an RT, and sometimes that can be a problem. You worry about rushers ducking under that 6′-7″, but with Niang, it’s very difficult to dip the shoulder past him. He has really long arms, has a plan going in, adjusts on the fly extremely readily, and stays square. In the Bills’ run game, Niang offers strength, a fierce punch, stays low, and powers you over. Not sure that our next OT is coming from TCU’s scheme, so I clicked him down a notch. Niang is slated to be drafted in the bottom of RD2, or before the Bills’ pick in RD3#86.
Fit For Bills: A

Photo of Wake Forest LT Justin Herron from alamy.com.

LT Justin Herron, Wake Forest
6-5, 290
Watch: LT #75
A redshirt senior, Herron excelled in the passing game. No returning 2019 offensive tackle spent more snaps in pass protection without allowing a sack. Over 469 pass-block snaps, Herron surrendered exactly 0 sacks. McDermott has mentioned Wake Forest, which is in NC, his and Beane’s old stomping ground, and is in the ACC, where many Bills come from (but less-so after Whaley’s departure). He’d need to add 20 pounds just to be noticed in the Bills’ O-Line room, as he’d offer less in the PBS run-blocking scheme. The criticism with Herron has been in run-blocking in a power scheme, so he drops down a lot.
Fit For Bills: C-

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nicholas T Loverde/CSM/Shutterstock (9065112g) Buffalo Bulls offensive lineman Evin Ksiezarczyk (67) gives a blocking assignment signal during the first quarter of play in the NCAA football game between the Colgate Raiders and Buffalo Bulls at UB Stadium in Amherst, N.Y. (Nicholas T. LoVerde) NCAA FOOTBALL Colgate vs Buffalo, Amherst, USA – 16 Sep 2017.

LT Evin Ksiezarczyk, Buffalo
6-6, 315
Watch: LT #67
Ksiezarcyk is on here for four reasons: proximity to One Bills Drive, he’s the MAC’s best OT, he played with Bulls, then Bills, and now Washington Defenders) QB Tyree Jackson, and I adore spelling challenges. A Preseason All-MAC player, Ksiezarcyk is King of the Weight Room, articulate, and intelligent. He’s likely one of those UDFA types that always makes Beane look smart.
Fit For Bills: A+

Editor’s babble: Well you know I’m going to be all over watching Evin Ksiezarczyk from UB this year. As always, thanks to Dean Kindig for his tremendous contributions to our blog. You can find Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro.