During the 2018 season, the performance of the Buffalo Bills offensive line could be charitably described as “sub-par.” In this week’s mock draft for SB Nation, Dan Kadar connects the dots that the Bills may be looking for an upgrade and that general manager Brandon Beane may be willing to “reach.”
9. Buffalo Bills: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
Last year’s draft proved that teams are aggressive finding offensive tackles. Given the state of Buffalo’s line, they may be the team in 2019 that reaches a little bit on a blocker. Ford is a massive right tackle who plays with aggression.
With offensive linemen Jonah Williams and Greg Little already off the board before Buffalo’s pick, Kadar has the Bills nonetheless selecting the third offensive lineman in the draft. Other potential targets, such as receivers D.K. Metcalf, Marquise Brown and Riley Ridley, were on the board and didn’t come off until picks 17, 20 and 22 respectively. Three-technique defensive tackle Ed Oliver was also available.
Kadar himself admitted that Ford was a reach and, at this point in the draft process, it’s hard to argue with him. The 6’4”, 338-pound former Oklahoma Sooner does have a great resume. He earned a spot on the All-Big 12 team this past season and was a part of the offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award for having the best line in college football. Ford also brings rare athleticism to the field, if not much experience. The junior broke his leg and missed most of 2016, then spent much of 2017 dinged up and nursing injuries. There’s a chance that Ford sees a big rise in the postseason lead up to the draft however, especially around the combine.
While it’s an unexpected choice, it’s hard to argue, with Ed Oliver on the board, that it was the best choice at pick nine. Unlike Alabama tackle Jonah Williams, Ford spent this season solely playing right tackle and doesn’t bring the same level of upside as a potential franchise blindside protector. With the retirement of Kyle Williams, the Bills need at defensive tackle has come to the forefront and Oliver has been mocked inside of the top-five picks all season.