Hey everybody! I am a long time stalker of Buffalo Rumblings, by which I mean that I have consistently read articles and comments on the blog for probably two years now, but never joined as a member. That changed today. This will be my first short contribution (hopefully of many) to the community.
Hopefully I can provide a unique perspective on Riley Reiff. A little about me: I was born and raised in Iowa, and have always loved and followed Hawkeye football as a result. My mom is from the Rochester area, so I inherited the Bills at a very young age and have been in love with them ever since. I have even been fortunate enough to attend a game at the Ralph (Bills vs. Browns on MNF, brutal ending... but great time overall!). I also played offensive line in college (at a small NAIA school, so nothing too exciting). That said, I think I can evaluate Reiff's potential contribution as well as most Rumblers.
As an avid Hawkeye fan, I can tell you two things. First, Kirk Ferentz churns out NFL-ready talent on the line as well as any coach in the league. Second, with Reiff covering the blind side since Bulaga's departure, I was never once concerned that Ricky Stanzi or James Vandenburg (Iowa's starting QBs the last 2 years) were inadequately protected on their blind side.
I have watched every Hawkeye game over the last few years, and I feel completely confident that Reiff would be a great addition to the Bills. Here are my reasons why:
*He is consistent as a pass blocker and solid in the run-game.
*He has a mean streak.
*He is smart. I only recall one or two times that I ever saw him blow an assignment due to a mental error.
*He appears to be a quality teammate. His teammates love him and I would be willing to bet he will fit into the locker room atmosphere that Nix is trying to build in Buffalo.
*He will add quality depth to a position that desperately needs it. He can challenge Hairston from day one and could be a long term solution at LT. If he turns into an RT, then so be it. Either way, tackle is our biggest need at this point, both in quality and depth. Reiff provides both.
In conclusion, as an avid Bills fan that has followed the Hawkeyes for a long time, I would be jubilant if Nix pulls the trigger on Reiff at ten. I will feel really good about Fitzpatrick's protection on every snap with Reiff on his blindside. However, if Nix goes in another direction with the pick, I trust Nix enough to believe that he has done his homework and is making the right decision.