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Who can the Buffalo Bills turn to in-house as starting guards?

Free agent John Miller and second-year man Wyatt Teller appear best bets to start.

Heading into the 2018 season, the Buffalo Bills knew they faced a daunting task trying to replace the production of center Eric Wood and left guard Richie Incognito. The team struggled to reach the same level of play those two stalwarts along the offensive line previously provided in sinking to a 6-10 record after making the playoffs in 2017.

Fast forward another offseason, and the Bills once again are faced with major questions along the offensive line, especially at the two guard positions, where Buffalo received below-average play from starters John Miller (right guard) and Vladimir Ducasse (left guard).

On a unit that Pro Football Focus ranked as the 26th-best offensive line in football, new offensive line coach Bobby Johnson is going to have his hands full trying to bolster a unit that finished with the next-to-last grade in PFF’s run-blocking grades.

Miller has been an on-again, off-again starter at right guard since being drafted in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Louisville, appearing in 47 games (all starts) over his four years in Western New York. Miller, who is an unrestricted free agent, made 15 starts in 2018, allowing only one sack and four penalties. On this unstable line, re-signing Miller to a low, mutually-agreed upon two-year extension might be the wise move, for Miller has proven himself to be capable when he’s on the field.

Ducasse, who enjoyed a resurgence at right guard in 2017, moved back to left guard for the 2018 season, with less-than-desirable results. He appeared in ten games (nine starts) and was part of an underachieving left side of the line that, time and time again failed to open holes for Buffalo’s running backs. Ducasse graded out at a 49.8 according to Pro Football Focus, good for 67th among all eligible guards. He committed four penalties and, remarkably, did not allow a sack. Unlike Miller, he is still under contract for 2019.

Ryan Groy, who started six games at center and can also play guard, is an unrestricted free agent who allowed three quarterback hits and eight hurries (zero sacks allowed) in his time at center.

Rookie Wyatt Teller, entering his second season, displayed a ton of promise in eight games (seven starts), allowing only eight quarterback pressures with no sacks and five committed penalties. The fifth-round draft pick proved himself capable in pass protection, though his run-blocking has room for improvement.

Jeremiah Sirles, who recently inked a one-year contract extension with Buffalo for the 2019 season, was active in 12 games (five starts) and saw time at both tackle and guard. He is a swingman who is expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp. He could start in a pinch but shouldn’t be handed the job.

Lastly, there’s Ike Boettger, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Iowa who spent the entire off-season, training camp and the pre-season with the Bills. After serving as Buffalo’s backup right guard, he was released before the regular season. Boettger eventually released by the Kansas City Chiefs and claimed on waiver by the Bills and appeared in the team’s last four games.

Miller (if he re-signs) and Teller appear to be the best in-house bets to start at guard for a team that could use an infusion of talent in 2019, but don’t rule out Ducasse sticking around.