After choosing safety Siran Neal with the 154th pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills fulfilled one of their big needs with the 166th pick and selected Wyatt Teller after the guard experienced somewhat of a precipitous drop down the board. What kind of player was Teller in college and what kind of player should Bills fans expect to see in the 2018 NFL season? Look for the answers to those questions and more below.
Originally recruited to Virginia Tech to play on the defensive line, the Hokies’ glaring need for offensive linemen meant that Teller was asked to transition first to tackle, then to guard to begin his career. Becoming a full-time starter at left guard his sophomore year, Teller steadily improved and was eventually named as a first-team All-ACC selection his junior year. Much was expected of Teller coming into his senior year, but his play in 2017 didn’t quite live up to the standard he set the previous year, despite not giving up any sacks in pass protection. A Senior Bowl attendee, Teller acquitted himself well there and many draft analysts noted that he was one of the few guards with the strength to handle defensive tackles one on one.
Has an ideal build for a guard at 6’5”, 314 pounds and clearly loves the weight room. His 34-inch arms and 10¼-inch hands are also above average for guards. Teller is tailor-made for a man, or gap, blocking scheme as he excels when matched up in a phone booth versus defensive linemen. Similar to another Bills guard, John Miller, Teller’s greatest asset is his brute strength. Anyone familiar with Teller’s tape would not have been shocked by seeing him land among the top five offensive linemen in the NFL Combine bench press event. Given his history as a defensive lineman, Teller’s hand usage is surprisingly advanced. Once he locks with a defender and his anchor is engaged, the defender wasn’t going to make it up field very often. In the run game, Teller is a mauler who brings his attitude with him. He’s not afraid to mix it up with linemen and bring them to the ground.
While he excels when left in a phone booth, on the move Teller is much less effective. He’s a plodder when asked to move to the second level and lazy at identifying blocking opportunities there. On tape, linebackers had no problem dipping underneath him while on their way to the ball carrier. Teller tends to get too top heavy in his pass blocking stance, and while that’s not something that held him back in college he should expect to get out-leveraged against better NFL defensive linemen.
Assuming new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll goes about installing the power blocking scheme he used to great effect at Alabama, Wyatt Teller should be able to take to the scheme like a fish to water. Despite being a fifth-round prospect coming in, it would not be out of the realm of possibility to see him immediately compete to start at the left guard position during training camp and into the preseason. If the coaches can find a way to get the most out of him and his talent, Bills fans could be looking at their new starting guard.