While the offensive line may look quite different for the 2018 Buffalo Bills, the team has no shortage of options in remaking that positional group. The team has nine offensive tackles in camp, and some of those players can also double as interior linemen.
In our latest installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we examine one of the nine offensive tackles, a rookie looking to make his mark in the NFL.
Name: Ike Boettger
Height/Weight: 6’6” 313 lbs.
Draft: Signed with the Buffalo Bills after going undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Boettger (pronounced BUT-gur) signed a standard UDFA deal, which spans 3 years at a total of $1,710,000. None of the money in the contract is guaranteed.
2017 Recap: Boettger missed almost all of his senior season due to an achilles injury. He was limited to two full games. Prior to suffering the injury, Boettger was slated to start at right tackle for the Hawkeyes.
Positional outlook: Tackle is a loaded positional group for the Bills in terms of people, but there isn’t a ton of Earth-shattering talent to be found. Dion Dawkins will remain the starting left tackle, and early on in camp it appears that Jordan Mills is the front-runner to retain the starting right tackle spot. Marshall Newhouse should make the team as a swing tackle, leaving one or two spots to be had. The group of tackles vying for that last spot or spots includes Boettger, Gerhard de Beer, Mo Porter, Josh James, De’Ondre Wesley, and Conor McDermott. They kept McDermott on the roster all season last year.
2018 Offseason: Little has been written about Boettger, but he has attended all offseason activities to date.
2018 season outlook: Iowa has a reputation for being an offensive lineman factory, with former NFL offensive line coach Kirk Ferentz running the show and developing plenty of NFL-caliber talent in the trenches. However, Boettger has an uphill battle with regard to making the 53-man roster. Mills is not a great tackle, but the Bills seem to have him penciled in as the starter. Newhouse’s contract implies that he will be on the 53-man this year, and the team kept McDermott around all throughout the 2017 season after he was claimed off waivers from the New England Patriots. With Dawkins cemented as the left tackle, it will take a big-time offseason from Boettger to warrant anything other than practice squad consideration in 2018.