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2018 NFL Draft: options for replacing Buffalo Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn

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With rumors that the Bills are looking to jettison the left tackle, these are the prospects the team may be looking at to fill his spot

Through no fault of his own, Buffalo Bills tackle Cordy Glenn has been the forgotten man under this coaching staff. Due to lingering foot and ankle issues, Glenn was in and out of the lineup for most of the 2017 season and finally placed on Injured Reserve in December. Rookie Dion Dawkins filled in for the injured Glenn admirably, leading some to assume that the team will look to move on from the expensive left tackle this offseason. If the team does decide to cut or trade the former Georgia Bulldog, they could be in the market to draft a tackle this offseason.

The 2018 draft’s tackle class looks average on the surface, as there are few surefire franchise players, but the depth class is very impressive. Some of the middle round prospects below could end up becoming starters with a year or two of experience.

Tier I

Connor Williams, Texas
Kolton Miller, UCLA
Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan

Extremely hyped before the season, Connor Williams was compared to Joe Thomas by many as they share a similar body type and play-style. But after a poor game against Maryland and a subsequent knee injury, analysts have cooled on the Longhorn. Don’t be fooled — Williams will be a quality left tackle in the NFL. Unlike Williams, Kolton Miller has been under-the-radar for many draft analysts, but after protecting Josh Rosen’s blind-side for the entire year, his pas protection shouldn’t be doubted. His run blocking isn’t the best however, and may be best suited to a zone scheme. Okorafor has the ideal frame, length and longtime experience scouts want in a franchise left tackle. Analysts have criticized his “soft” demeanor while run-blocking, but those same criticisms were lobbed at Cordy Glenn.

Tier II

Jamarco Jones, Ohio State
Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State
Orlando Brown, Oklahoma

Jamarco Jones was Taylor Decker’s successor at left tackle at Ohio State and, while he doesn’t have Decker’s upper body strength, Jones quick feet ensure that he’s never beaten around the edge. He needs to do more work adding functional strength to defeat strong, bull-rushing defensive ends. Although McGlinchey was Notre Dame’s left tackle and is a physically tough offensive lineman, he may be destined for the right side as his may be too stiff to protect the blind-side full-time. At 6’5”, 315 pounds, you wouldn’t think Martinas Rankin could play tackle, but his movement skills at the position allow him to survive, especially when going against lighter edge rushers. Some analysts are extremely high on Orlando Brown because, despite his decencies in technique and footwork, his absolutely massive frame and length allow him to survive most pass rushing snaps.

Tier III

Brett Toth*, Army
Alex Cappa, Humboldt State
Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh

*As a West Point graduate, Toth must immediately fulfill his two-year service commitment, which affects his grade.

Brett Toth was a run-blocking specialist at Army in the option offense, but in both the East-West Shrine game and the Senior Bowl he proved he could hold his own when asked to pass protect. He may be a prospect who immediately outplays his draft position. Cappa is another small-school prospect that managed to prove himself in Mobile during the Senior Bowl. He has a nasty blocking mentality that may push him inside to guard. The postseason draft process has been less-than-kind to Crosby and O’Neill. Crosby lacks the movement skills and feet you want in a left tackle and projects to right tackle in the pros. O’Neill may not have the core strength to remain at tackle at all, and reminds some of former UCLA left tackle and current Buffalo tackle Conor McDermott.

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