IOL Fits for the Buffalo Bills

Photo/OCOG list by Dean Kindig.

Gritty Guard Feliciano‘s pectoral injury made my decision on the next “Bills Fits” position to look at quite easy. I hope the Bills have it just as easy to determine next man up. My vote is for this lineup to begin camp:

LT Dion Dawkins UFA 2021 — will be motivated in his contract year
LG Quinton Spain – RE-SIGNED 3 yrs $15M — added muscle, won offseason work award
OC Mitch Morse – 3 more yrs (OC) — savvy vet leads the OL room
RG Cody Ford (RG-RT) UFA 2023 — Pro Bowler in a phone booth
RT Daryl Williams OTOG —1 yr.contract is going to make Beane a genius

Alternatively, you have Ryan Bates able to play at all five OL spots. He’s likely McDermott’s fave because he was a state champ wrestler and discus thrower (as is Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa, if these iPad memory games are actually helping). Speaking of Iowa, you have Ike Boettger, who’s played reps at LG and RG. Last year he had 83 snaps, no penalties, no sacks. He’s listed as LG at OverTheCap.com. He was retained when teammate Wyatt Teller was traded. Signed in mid-April, Evan Boehm has four years’ experience and has appeared in 55 total games (21 starts), so he’s a huge consideration. Like an interior version of Bates, he can play OC RG LG. Most importantly, also like Bates, he’s a former state champion in wrestling. He was a teammate of Mitch Morse, too. Finally you have 30-year-old Spencer Long, also a OC RG LG, whose option year was picked up for $4.25 million, and was the first OL signing back in February. Alas, he’s not a state wrestling champion. And PFF gives him low grades. And he got injured reading this.

Who are the Bills’ fits at Guard and Center in the 2021 NFL Draft? (Numbers preceding player names are their rank on my personal Big Board)

Photo of Oklahoma C-OG from draftblaster.com.

18 Creed Humphrey C OG OklahomaOC#56 in this Tweet
6’5″ 316
RS Junior
Outland Trophy Watch List and Rimington Trophy List

via GIPHY

Read This: https://soonerswire.usatoday.com/2020/04/28/oklahomas-creed-humphrey-a-first-rounder-in-way-too-early-2021-nfl-mock-draft/
Why he’ll be a Bill: The most important thing to know about Creed is that –yes— he’s a wrestler. He went to the HS state semifinals. The other thing you should know is that he’s a bigger Mitch Morse with the same “hearts and smarts” mentality. That’s a Mike Tomlin term, and the Steelers are my guess where he ends up (if they draft before the Bills, which I expect). Creed Humphrey is a nasty road-grading snowplow that can open huge holes for Zack Moss and Devin Singletary. He can play Guard if necessary, so that versatility scores points with McBeane. Humphrey yielded just one sack in 799 plays in 2019, and he was The Big 12’s Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Why he won’t: Beane has taken only one player from the Big 12 (Of course, I admit it was Cody Ford, and he was also a Sooner). Humphrey isn’t really athletic, but then neither is Morse.
Fit For The Bills: A+++

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Photo of Tennessee LG Trey Smith from Twitter.com.

20 Trey Smith LG TennesseeLG:#73 in this Tweet
6’6″ 325
Senior
Outland Trophy Watch List, Wuerffel Trophy Watch List

Read This: https://thedraftnetwork.com/articles/building-the-2020-prototype–interior-ol Why he’ll be a Bill: Trey may very well have been the first guard selected had he made the NFL jump in 2020 –the issue was with blood clots. However, in 2019 Smith was one of the nation’s most accomplished offensive guards both on and off the field. He made first-team All-SEC honors. He was declared Cole Cubelic’s top SEC Guard, going up against the best of the best. The Draft Network cites Smith’s functional athleticism as the prototype of the four primary traits he looks for at the position: “At 6’6, 320, Trey Smith is like a freight train when he gets moving. He is a dominant run blocker at the point of attack. His elite play strength is on display each time you turn on the tape.” He’ll be sought after as a Guard adept at the pin-and-pull, and guess what the Bills like to do (Where would we be without Erik Turner?). Trey Smith’s on the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List, honoring college football’s most impactful leaders in community service, and the Bills are all about that. The list of his contributions to his community are long.
Why he won’t: Given that he’s had the highest NFL Draft grade of any college senior from NFS, I have a feeling Trey won’t be there when we draft 32nd (see what I did there?). He’s one of a few players Beane might move up for, though.
Fit For The Bills: A+++


Photo of Georgia C-OG Trey Hill from 247sports.com.

26 Trey Hill C OG GeorgiaOC#55 in this Tweet
6’4” 330
Junior
Outland Trophy List, Rimington Trophy List

Read This: https://www.dawgnation.com/football/homegrown-trey-hill-is-the-center-of-the-georgia-offense
Why he’ll be a Bill: Hill is a behemoth, dominating center in the toughest division in college football. You saw that last season. He’s a tough run blocker who held his own against RD1s like Derrick Brown (Panthers RD1#7). He surrendered two QB pressures last season on 433 pass block snaps, so his reputation as a run blocker doesn’t mean he’s a “one-trick pony”. Hill is familiar with a Bills QB, as he’s hiked to Jake Fromm for 2 years in HS and 4 years in college (Keep the jokes about “familiar hands down there” to yourself). The lure of versatile linemen is hard for Beane to pass up, and Hill might be available when the Bills are on the clock, a confluence of available talent and well-timed need (Morse signed a 4-year contract in March of 2019, making him the highest-paid center at the time, becoming a free agent in 2023).
Why he won’t: Hill had a great supporting cast at Georgia, and it’s often hard to evaluate individual talent when you played with Cade Mays (who has transferred to Tennessee and will be with Trey Smith, above), and NFL guys Solomon Kindley (RD4#111, Dolphins), Andrew Thomas (RD1#4, Giants), and Isaiah Wilson (RD1#29, Titans). Hill hails from Georgia and went to Georgia. He’ll likely be freezing in the Buffalo air conditioning.
Fit For The Bills: A

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Photo of Ohio State RG Wyatt Davis from 247sports.com.

36 Wyatt Davis RG Ohio StateRG#52 in this Tweet
6’3” 313
RS Junior
Outland Trophy Watch List

Read This: https://lettermenrow.com/ohio-state-football/wyatt-davis-ohio-state-buckeyes-football-family-legacy/
Why he’ll be a Bill: DNA. He’s Willie Davis’s (DE Packers)’ grandson. Work ethic. Davis practices with the same level of intensity as you see in a game. I had him as the first RD1 pick by DraftTek for the Bills back in May 2020. He’d be a “natural” guard, as opposed to a Tackle you slide inside, or a Center-Guard combo plate special.
Why he won’t: I didn’t like the movie Beetlejiuce. Wyatt Davis is the son of actor Duane Davis, who played “Very Dumb Football Player” in the movie. Never a good sign. Duane actually played college football at Missouri but suffered knee injuries in his sophomore and senior year. Strike Two. Duane also played the WR Featherstone in the movie Necessary Roughness, but he pulled his hamstring during filming. Strike Three. (Disclaimers: I’m sure Wyatt got his grandfather’s DNA, not his father’s. I tell my grandkids it skips generations. Plus, Duane Davis was great in the movie The Program, except I was too busy watching Halle Berry).
Fit For The Bills: A

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Photo of Ohio State C-OG Josh Myers from 247sports.com.

45 Josh Myers C OG Ohio StateC#71 in this Tweet
6’5” 310
RS Junior
Outland Trophy Watch List, Rimington Trophy Watch List

Read This: https://www.cleveland.com/osu/2019/10/how-josh-myers-became-the-leader-ohio-state-football-needs-at-center.html
Why he’ll be a Bill: Not only did Wyatt Davis block for J.K. Dobbins, one of my favorite 2 RBs from last year (we drafted the other one). Josh Myers is a perfect fit for his savvy smarts and tough temperament that McBeane is trying to bring to the team. Add versatility, as Myers can play any of the IOL positions. Add a bit of nasty, too: He has that Jekyll and Hyde mentality that transforms when he steps across the sidelines on game day. In fact, in the words of the above teammate, Wyatt Davis: ““He really tries to come off and punish people. With him leading us on the O line, it affects all of us.” Make sure you watch #71 at Center in the 2019 Ohio State vs Maryland game. You won’t see better mirroring by a lineman. He was Player of the Game in that contest. Myers is one reason why the Buckeyes were first in the Big Ten in scoring, total offense, and rushing offense (although Dobbins didn’t hurt).
Why he won’t: There is no reason. Especially if you somehow get him in RD2.
Fit For The Bills: A++


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Photo of USC LT-LG Alijah Vera-Tucker from 247sports.com.

50 Alijah Vera-Tucker LT LG USCLG#75 in this Tweet
6’4” 310
RS Junior
Outland Trophy Watch List

Read This: https://reignoftroy.com/2020/06/25/usc-football-alijah-vera-tucker-progress/ Why he’ll be a Bill: Vera-Tucker’s a scrappy Left Guard, and that’ll remind folks of Feliciano. Pro Football Focus graded him as USC’s top lineman last season, his first as a full-time starter. The redshirt junior is back for a second year as a full-time starter, although you’ll find plenty of USC fans who thought he merited being a starter in 2018 as well. They might have been right, because in 2019 Vera-Tucker played all 13 games at LG and was named a first-team All-PAC-12 player. USC essentially said the same thing, voting him Offensive Lineman of the Year. We’ll see his OT Austin Jackson twice a year (Dolphins RD1#18) so Vera-Tucker will get a long look on the blind side. While the coronavirus pandemic prevented him from getting valuable practice time at LT, his OL coach says he’s got the job. Unfortunately, USC plays Alabama too early for the Trojans’ two new OTs.
Why he won’t: I expect Vera-Tucker to stay in school.
Fit For The Bills: A

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Photo of Alabama C-OG Landon Dickerson from 247sports.com.

59 Landon Dickerson C OG AlabamaRG#69 in this Tweet
6’6″ 308
RS Senior
Outland Trophy Watch List

Read This: https://www.si.com/college/alabama/bamacentral/landon-dickerson-alabama-football-crimson-tide-football-alabama-offensive-line-jedrick-wills-jr-raekwon-davis
Why he’ll be a Bill: relentless, no-nonsense, power run blocker, plays through the whistle, doesn’t shy away from anyone.
Why he won’t: Lack of size and explosion. He’ll need plenty of wings to play the Bills RG spot, where they like to run power plays. He might fit at Center, but there are more likely options (Creed is the top of that list). Here, he’s late out of his stance.
Fit For The Bills: B


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Photo of Notre Dame RT Tommy Kraemer from 247sports.com.

65 Tommy Kraemer OG RT Notre DameRG#78 in this Tweet
6’5″ 319
RS Senior
Outland Trophy Watch List

Read This: https://www.turfshowtimes.com/2020/2/15/21138625/tommy-kraemer-scouting-report out last year.
Why he’ll be a Bill: Ceiling and Timing. Brian Kelly called Kraemer “the most advanced freshman lineman [he] ever had”. He’s servin’ up pancakes vs Georgia in the GIF above. Notre Dame returns all of its OL starters, and rival Ohio State for the best offensive line in the country, in my opinion.
Why he won’t: Kraemer might have been be the best run blocking guard before his MCL sprain late last season. This likely contributed to his returning for another year with the Irish. I bet he won’t regret that decision. If the scouts think he’s a RG-LG-RT combo, he’s on the Bills’ radar.
Fit For The Bills: A

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Photo of Minnesota LG-RT Blaise Andries from 247sports.com.

86 Blaise Andries LG RT MinnesotaLG#77 in this Tweet
6’6″ 325 MN
Junior
Outland Trophy Watch List

Read This: https://stayaliveinpower5.com/2020/04/29/college-footballs-15-best-returning-offensive-linemen/
Why he’ll be a Bill: Availability. Andries started every game for Minnesota for the last 2 years. He was one of 28 Gophers to play as a freshman, so he’ll be experienced when and if he declares.
Why he won’t: First, no Bills scouts go to Minnesota. It’s been incomprehensible to me. Second, Andries has a perfectionist streak and can focus on his faults, getting into his own head too much. He’ll need to show that he can move to the tasks to become 1/11th of the offense. Third, he’s another guy that will have a tough time leaving early. There’s work to be done.
Fit For The Bills: B


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Photo of South Carolina RG Sadarius Hutcherson from 247sports.com.

90 Sadarius Hutcherson RG South CarolinaLT#50 in this Tweet
6’4” 320
RS Senior
Outland Trophy Watch List

Read This: https://southcarolina.rivals.com/news/breaking-down-the-competition-left-tackle
Why he’ll be a Bill: First, Attitude. Hutcherson returned for one more year, stating he had “unfinished business“. Second, Upside. Hutcherson got some snaps last year at LT (see GIF above) before the coaches bumped him inside to Guard, but he still may have upside at tackle this year. He’s added nearly 90 pounds of muscle since arriving on campus at 230 lbs. Third, Upper Body Strength. Bills linemen often put up insane numbers in the weight room. On Bruce Feldman’s list of the 50 Biggest Freaks in college football, Sadarius can put the 225 pounds into the air 38 times already. They stopped giving him the power clean and squat test because he was bending the bar at 675. He’s a mid-round pro prospect and maybe the Gamecocks’ best shot at adding an offensive player to the South Carolina NFL List in April. SC’s best offensive players might be Bills FB Pat DiMarco, OT Dennis Daley, TE Jared Cook, and WRs Deebo Samuel and Alshon Jeffrey.
Why he won’t: We have to check to see if our power clean bar can hold 700 lbs.
Fit For The Bills: A+

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Photo by Jason Pohuski/CSM/Shutterstock (9916423da) th, Jimmy Morrissey #67 during the Pitts Panthers vs Syracuse Orange game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA NCAA Pitt vs Syracuse, Pittsburgh, USA – 06 Oct 2018

99 Jimmy Morrissey C PittsburghC#67 in this Tweet
6’2″ 305
RS Senior
Outland Trophy Watch List, Rimington Trophy Watch List

Read This: https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/ron-cook/2020/02/29/pitt-panthers-football-spring-practice-jimmy-morrissey/stories/202003010044
Why he’ll be a Bill: Experience. Beane values experience at the pivot. Morrissey’s a four-year starting center and two-time captain. He was All-ACC first team last season. Second, Smarts. Jimmy graduated in 3½ years in December with a degree in finance and marketing, and is now taking classes toward his MBA at Pitt. Third, he channels McDermott: Just listen: ‘You have to take care of your business off the field to take care of your business on the field. Things that you do off the field reflect what you do on the field.’ Fourth, run-pass blocking. Morrissey didn’t allow a sack last season and was Pitt’s best run blocker.
Why he won’t: Height. He’s on the short side. Mitch Morse is 6’6″, and Jimmy’s 6’6″ if he wears heels.
Fit For The Bills: A-


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Photo of Notre Dame LG Aaron Banks from 247sports.com.

111 Aaron Banks LG Notre DameLG#69 in this Tweet
6’6″ 325
Senior
Outland Trophy Watch List

Read This: https://www.onefootdown.com/2020/5/26/21270499/this-guy-plays-notre-dame-fighting-irish-football-number-69-aaron-banks-guard-junior-offensive-line
Why he’ll be a Bill: Banks allowed only 2 sacks on the 844 snaps he saw all last season at Left Guard, and like I said, Notre Dame and Ohio State might be the best O-Lines this year. Liam Eichenberg is on Banks’ left, so that’ll be fun to watch that pairing. Watch 2 plays on CuedUp. Banks is quiet, lets his play do the talking, is solid, and reliable. He filled in seamlessly when Alex Bars (now Bears, starter Week 13-17) was injured.
Why he won’t: Current plan at LG is likely Quinton Spain, who signed a new 3-year contract in the offseason. I will argue that Spain is third-oldest in that room, and Aaron Banks is remarkably similar in size and temperament, and Beane thinks at least three years in advance.
Fit For The Bills: A+


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Photo of Michigan State RG Kevin Jarvis from wxyz.com.

130 Kevin Jarvis RG RT Michigan StateLT#75 in this Tweet
6’5” 340
Snubbed from Watch Lists

Read This: https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/sports/college/msu/football/2018/08/23/michigan-state-football-preview-2018-offensive-line-starters-tyler-higby/1070368002/
Why he’ll be a Bill: Value and Leadership. Jarvis stays healthy this year, he’ll move up. The OL looks up to him even more than Matt Allen at Center. He has recovered from last year’s knee injury. O-Line Coach Chris Kapilovic says Kevin Jarvis “seems pretty healthy and is pretty invested in learning the offense and the things I want them to do. I can tell the guys kind of look up to him.” Jarvis spent two years starting at RG, his best position, because he’s a mauler. Because of injuries to others, he started the first three games at left tackle last season.
Why he won’t: Speed. He looks a bit awkward trying to pull. He hasn’t stayed uninjured, so that’s a concern, too. Here are some preseason notes I found helpful, although he’s better than this sounds.
Fit For The Bills: B

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Photo of UCF RG Cole Schneider from orlandosentinel.com.

212 Cole Schneider RG UCFRG#65 in this Tweet
6’4” 312
RS Senior
Snubbed from Watch Lists

Why he’ll be a Bill: Gabe Davis. Schneider’s the teammate of Gabriel Davis. Cole’s paved the way for Adrian Killins, the UDFA UCF running back who’s now a likely Eagles kick returner. Schneider’s interview is focused and articulate. UCF has 3 First-Team All-AAC O-Linemen to the 2019 team, and they have speed as an offense, so watch UCF surprise this year. He’s a fun and interesting character, known for his various hair colors and belly flops.
Why he won’t: Who wouldn’t want a colorful offensive lineman? Sheesh.
Fit For The Bills: A+

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Photo of Michigan State C Matt Allen from chicagotribune.com.

219 Matt Allen C Michigan StateC#64 in this Tweet
6’3” 312
Senior
Rimington Trophy Watch List

Why he’ll be a Bill: Quick Study. With Michigan State having a new OL coach (Chris Kapilovic) and new OC (Jay Johnson), Sparty will be glad to have Allen in there at the pivot. He’s smart, so he’ll pick up the new terminology. Matt Allen is the third Allen boy to be a solid starting center for Michigan State following his older brothers Jack (2012-2015) and Brian (2014-2017). In CuedUp, watch where his head is. He’s contained his man but is aware of his entire line.
Why he won’t: Allen hiking to Allen? You lose jersey sales.
Fit For The Bills: A

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Photo of Utah C-OG Orlando Umana from 247sports.com.

267 Orlando Umana C OG UtahC#50 in this Tweet
6’4” 340
Senior
Snubbed from Watch Lists

Why he’ll be a Bill: Mass, and Moss. Umana’s built like an Amana refrigerator and he blocked for Zack Moss, if that name rings a bell. I love how quickly Umana fires off the ball and does his job. You can see he’s already turning his man in the first 1/11th of a second. Besides, the Bills seem to be drafting more than ever from the PAC-12. That’s because Doug Majeski, the Bills Coordinator of College Scouting, is also the West Area Scout. Majeski is the longest-tenured scout, and likely had plenty of input about Moss and Isaiah Hodgins this year and Harrison Phillips in 2018, Beane’s first draft. Umana will be blocking for Jake Bentley, who graduated from South Carolina and grad-transferred to Utah for his final year of eligibility.The fit is great for what Bobby johnson and Brian Daboll want to do. Umana combo-blocks well, and serves up pancakes on big NTs.
Why he won’t: I got nothing. All I can think about now is refrigerators and pancakes.
Fit For The Bills: A+

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Photo of Wyoming C Keegan Cryder from wyosports.net.

268 Keegan Cryder C WyomingC#73 in this Tweet
6’4” 309
RS Junior
Outland Trophy Watch List

Why he’ll be a Bill: Watch the GIF. Cryder’s effort on every play is like this. He makes contact with three different players on the same play. Effort, vision, strength. He’s played at Center for 20 games over the last 2 years. In his 800 total snaps in the 2019 season, Cryder served up 100 Knockdown Blocks (read: pancakes) and allowed only 1 sack. He had one penalty in his 12 games in 2019. Plus, he’s a Wyoming Center. He knows Josh Allen intimately. He’s smart, too; he’s an Academic All-American majoring in civil engineering. I’d draft him earlier than RD7.
Why he won’t: There are concerns about functional strength. He’d need a really good weight room. How about AdPro?
Fit For The Bills: A-