The Buffalo Bills addressed a position of need during the middle rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft when they took offensive guard Wyatt Teller from Virginia Tech. Teller’s versatility to play guard and tackle, along with his successful college career made him a steal in the 5th round.
The new Bills offensive lineman spoke with Bills reporters after he was selected on Saturday. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: Hi Wyatt, congratulations.
Teller: Thank you. I’m excited to join the Bills Mafia.
Q: Wyatt, how much contact did you have with the Bills leading up to this weekend?
Teller: So, I talked to the coaches a little bit. Coach [Andrew] Dees, who is the assistant offensive line coach, came down and worked me out. It was a good time. We did a little field work and classroom work and it was great learning from a great man like Coach Dees.
Q: Wyatt, why do you choose to go by your middle name?
Teller: Um, I just, I don’t know. William is my grandfather’s name and it’s a very nice name. It’s a great name, but Billy, Bill [and] Will never really worked out for me so I always went with Wyatt.
Q: Wyatt, what’s it like knowing you’ve got another Hokie coming in to Buffalo with you in Tremaine Edmunds?
Teller: Tremaine! My man! He’s, you know, it’s going to be great. Iron sharpens iron. I’ve always said that about Tremaine, I’ve always said that about Tim and all these guys who are getting drafted. Iron truly sharpens iron and Tremaine is a great player. A great player and I’m excited to join him. It’s going to be nice to have someone going through the same things as me.
Q: You know that’s a saying of Sean McDermott, right? Iron sharpens iron. Did you guys talk about that and that’s why you’re here?
Teller: Yeah. You know, I feel like when I talked to Coach, he liked the mindset I had. There’s obviously a reason I’m part of the Bills organization now and I’m going to go in there and compete. I feel like that’s the biggest thing. He liked the mentality I had.
Q: Wyatt, what was the transition like from the defensive side to the offensive side for you?
Teller: It was difficult at first. When you’re young, you think you’re going to get in there and start, but then you realize that everything comes down to competition. Everything comes down to working as hard as you can, coming out respecting the old guys and it’s the same thing here. If I want to do the same thing or make that transition from college to NFL, it’s basically like switching a position. It’s a lot different, but it’s going to be difficult and it’s all about competing.
Q: What spot on the offensive line are you most comfortable at?
Teller: The most experience I had in college was at left guard but in the offseason, I practiced snapping, I practiced right guard, I tried to practice a little bit on the edge but the biggest thing was finding my niche and pursuing it.
Q: Why should Bills fans be excited about you coming to Buffalo?
Teller: Because it’s all about competition. I know how Bills fans are. I know that they’re literally the greatest fans in the nation so I’m excited to see them screaming and yelling everyday or every Sunday and I’m ready to just get in there.
Q: Wyatt, your scouting report on NFL.com sort of questioned your performance as a senior. How do you respond to that criticism?
Teller: You know, you’ve got to take everything with a grain of salt. In 2016, I was told I was too penalized, I was too this, I was too that, and then everybody goes ‘oh no, we loved 2016.’ Everything changes in a pin drop. The biggest thing with me is in 2017, I wanted to cut down on penalties. I had talked to my coaches and I wanted to be the best team player I could be. That led to being a little bit less aggressive but keeping that mentality going. There were times where instead of getting the penalty where you’re trying to embarrass a kid, I would hold it back a little bit and hit technically and fundamentally, and sometimes people said we want to see that aggression [and] we want to see hitting with some bolts and stuff like that. It’s all a work in progress. You’ve got to work on one thing and get better at it and keep that aggression. In 2017, halfway through the season, my coach goes ‘let it loose, let it loose, do your thing.’ Once I did that, I had a better season. It looked real good and here I am.
Q: Wyatt, I’m not sure if you’re watching the Draft on the first day and if you took note of the moves, especially after Tremaine got selected, if you took any note of what the Bills were doing and the splash they made, and if you could reflect back to Thursday.
Teller: Yeah, so when I – Tremaine, the kid they’re getting is, well, the man they’re getting is an absolute stud. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played against. I remember when I was a sophomore, or I might’ve been a junior, and he just got into college, usually you give the younger guys a ‘Welcome to Varsity’ moment and you go and hit him. He came out with his long arms and lanky body and smoked me, and I remember he put his head right in my chest and I was like, ‘What? Who is this kid?’ He deserves everything he’s getting. He’s a great man, a great player and I’m excited to see him out there.
Q: Take into account that, I mean, you won’t be playing against Tremaine. Maybe you’ll be practicing against him, but the fact that this team is moving ahead with Josh Allen and what you might know of him and putting a face on this offense for years to come, the Bills hope.
Teller: Yeah. Josh, I mean, I saw him at the Senior Bowl, saw him at the Combine, he’s a good player. His deep ball is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He can chuck a ball and he’s a smart kid. I see an identity coming [to the team]. You’re getting both sides of the ball and this is the place I wanted to go and I’m so blessed to be here. I get to protect a great guy, whoever gets the job, if it’s Josh or anybody. It’s all about the family you’re going to create there and I’m excited for it. I’m so excited for it.
Q: Wyatt, they seemed to be putting a real emphasis on versatility here the last couple of drafts, this one and the last one. You’re kind of a guy that’s played all over – defense, tackle, guard. Can you kind of speak to your own versatility and how that can help you at the next level?
Teller: Yeah, so the mindset that I bring is that competition everyday, that you don’t get anything without deserving it or earning it and working for it. I feel that mentality, like I said with Coach when he came down, he liked the mentality I had. He is the reason why I’m a part of the Bills Mafia. I’m excited to get in there and I really feel that we see eye-to-eye – well, obviously there’s a lot of learning but I really do feel like we see eye-to-eye in the way that we need to work and the way that we need to get after things to be successful.
Q: Are you making a trip to Taco Bell to celebrate?
Teller: Yeah, I’m going to get eight beefy Fritos burritos [laughs].
Q: How did you spend Draft Weekend?
Teller: So, my family, when I graduated high school, my mom retired from being a school teacher up in Fairfax and they live on the lake now. What’s really cool is whenever I come back from college, I would always go to the lake and be able to sunbathe and everything like that, swim a little bit. Luckily, I’m at the lake with my family and it’s great. As soon as I got the call from the coaches, my whole family grabs me and stuff and they’re making so much noise, and I’m just over here like ‘I gotta talk to Coach’ so I had to leave the room and everything. They’re a great support system.