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Mocking the Bills: Improving trench play a priority in 2023 NFL Draft

The Bills address two major needs on the interior in one fell swoop

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 12 South Carolina at Florida Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills have been pushed around the offensive line of scrimmage far too often while star quarterback Josh Allen has been the signal caller. The Bills need to do a better job of making sure their All-Pro level passer gets every opportunity to make plays while being protected.

One way of doing that is to continue the improvement of the run game from an efficiency standpoint. Allen’s legs are dangerous, but his gamer mentality does put him at risk for injury at a consistent rate. Nobody can question that Allen has taken some massive hits over the past couple of seasons.

Using the 2023 NFL mock draft simulator from Pro Football Focus, we mocked the entirety of a realistic outcome of the first round (as it stands) until the Buffalo Bills were on the clock at pick No. 30.

With the 30th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select...

O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida

There’s a realistic possibility that the Bills will have the opportunity to select the best true interior offensive lineman in the 2023 class. Torrence, a transfer from Louisiana who followed head coach Billy Napier to Gainesville, proved his worth in many ways at right guard with the Gators in 2022. Torrence is one of the strongest players in this draft class, and he’s NFL-ready as a run blocker from day one.

Watch below as Torrence anchors against a top-three player in the 2023 NFL Draft in defensive tackle Jalen Carter. Carter forces him to reset his base multiple times, and Torrence successfully does so to keep the pocket clean around his quarterback.

Not many players can set an anchor like Torrence can — he’s strong at the point of attack, and is constantly looking for work to do. The questions with Torrence relate to his overall athleticism. Torrence’s pass sets are not conducted with plus-explosion. It appears that quick-twitch players on the interior could cause him some issues at times. Torrence uses strength and effort to neutralize deficiencies as an athlete, but he’ll only be able to do so much in the NFL from that standpoint when high-level athletes and coaching staffs are looking to take advantage of his weaknesses.

The Bills don’t have a people-mover on the interior like Torrence, though, and the addition of his tenacious, high-motor play would be a welcome addition. Torrence’s arrival would likely shift current right guard Ryan Bates to left guard, while Torrence smoothly slides in to the right guard spot. That would constitute an immediate upgrade at the left guard position for the Bills, where veteran lineman Rodger Saffold has struggled mightily as the 2022 season has worn on.