The Buffalo Bills have added a stable of talented depth to their offensive line this offseason. This is nothing new, as a hallmark of general manager Brandon Beane’s roster building is to ensure that the protectors in front of quarterback Josh Allen are plentiful. Beane not only has enough for the Bills to trust their starters, but he has also accumulated enough depth where he can trade players for draft assets and still trust the reserves.
At offensive tackle, the starters are written into the lineup in Sharpie. However, the reserve spots leave some intrigue for us to follow this summer.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we discuss one of two rookies the Bills drafted at offensive tackle this year.
Name: Tommy Doyle
Height/Weight: 6’8” 320 lbs
Age: 22 (23 on 5/6/2022)
Experience/Draft: R; selected by Buffalo in the fifth round (No. 161 overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft
College: Miami (OH)
Acquired: Fifth-round draft choice
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Doyle’s four-year rookie contract is worth a total of $3,795,724, of which $315,724 is guaranteed. The latter total represents the dead-cap charge that Buffalo will owe if Doyle is released this year; if he makes the final roster, Doyle is set to carry a cap hit of $738,931.
2020 Recap: Doyle started all three games at left tackle for the Redhawks last year, and he was voted First-Team All-MAC for his efforts. This was the second straight season he served as Miami’s starting left tackle after first breaking into the starting lineup as a right tackle in 2018.
Positional outlook: Dion Dawkins and Daryl Williams are going to start at left tackle and right tackle, respectively, barring any injuries. This means that Doyle, Spencer Brown, Ryan Bates, and Bobby Hart will vie for what will probably be two spots on the final roster: the swing-tackle role (active on game days) and the emergency tackle role (not active on game days unless there’s an injury).
2021 Offseason: Doyle is healthy and he participated in OTAs.
2021 Season outlook: It’s hard to peg exactly where Doyle fits in Buffalo’s plans for 2021, but it’s safe to assume that he’ll begin his quest to make the roster behind fellow rookie Brown, who was a third-round pick this year, and ahead of veteran Hart—who has been little more than a turnstile in all of his NFL stops thus far. Bates is so versatile that Buffalo will probably keep him on the roster, and his versatility doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t keep Brown and Doyle. If we assume that the starting five is Dawkins, Cody Ford, Mitch Morse, Jon Feliciano, and Williams, however, keeping Doyle, Brown, and Bates leaves us with eight linemen. Who comes after that? Ike Boettger? Forrest Lamp? Both? What about Jordan Devey and Jack Anderson? Once again, the Bills have a good problem: Their offensive line group is chock full of talent, meaning that head coach Sean McDermott and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll have their work cut out for them with regard to shaping the final roster. Doyle will either be on the initial roster or become a priority signing for the practice squad if they can sneak him through waivers.