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Potential 2018 NFL Draft replacements for Richie Incognito

The Bills left guard and his $7.5 million cap hit could be jettisoned for one of the following cheaper options this offseason 

Considering Richie Incognito’s age and cost, not to mention his alleged proclivity for racial slurs, it shouldn’t surprise Buffalo Bills fans if general manager Brandon Beane, head coach Sean McDermott, and the rest of the Bills brass decide to move on from him this offseason. Cutting Incognito would net $6.4 million in cap space and while he’s been a stalwart on the offensive line for three straight years, starting guards can be found as late as day three of the draft. If the Bills make the decision to cut Incognito and look to the draft, the players below will likely be the ones to catch their eye.

Tier I

Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame

One of the elite prospects in this draft, Nelson is rock-solid in both pass protection and run-blocking. While he’s not as athletic as former Notre Dame player and current Dallas Cowboy left tackle Zack Martin, Nelson is stronger and more well-built. A fit for both a zone blocking scheme as well as a power gap scheme, look for Nelson to be a top-15 draft selection.

Tier II

Will Hernandez, UTEP
Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
Braden Smith, Auburn
Sean Welsh, Iowa
Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech
Tony Adams, NC State

Prospects in this tier fall into two separate archetypes: huge, tough immovable objects or smaller, athletic technicians. Isaiah Wynn is in the latter group along with Welsh, but both managed to hold their own against bigger and stronger defensive tackles at the Senior Bowl. Hernandez is the closest you’re going to get to a collegiate version of Richie Incognito himself, with his toughness and ability to finish. Smith, Teller and Adams all have the powerful frames necessary to excel in a power blocking scheme.

Tier III

Austin Corbett, Nevada
Sam Jones, Arizona State
Taylor Hearn, Clemson
KC McDermott, Miami
Skyler Phillips, Idaho State

Tier III prospects have their fair share of weaknesses, and may get drafted on the third day of the draft because of them, but their upside in certain schemes is intriguing. Phillips comes is a small school prospect who can beat blockers to the punch, but has trouble sustaining his blocks. Jones and Corbett are too small for most schemes but could thrive in an outside zone scheme. Hearn and McDermott would make great developmental prospects for whichever team drafts them, as they have ideal NFL size.

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