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2022 NFL Draft: Searching for tackles

Could the team use a pure swing tackle?

The Buffalo Bills chose to address their tackle position in a big way last season by drafting both Spencer Brown in the third round and Tommy Doyle in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s a good thing they did, as Daryl Williams proved less than capable of holding down his spot at right tackle. With Spencer Brown’s accession, it left Doyle and Bobby Hart as the sole backup tackles on the depth chart.

With somewhat limited depth, general manager Brandon Beane and the front office at One Bills Drive could be looking for another supplemental tackle prospect to throw into competition with the aforementioned Doyle and Hart. The 2022 NFL Draft is seen as a strong one for offensive linemen, so it would be wise for the team to take advantage, even if the player ends up as a guard or center. Below are some of the prospects who might make sense to play the role of swing tackle for the Bills.

Tier I

Zach Tom (Wake Forest)
Max Mitchell (Louisiana)
Abraham Lucas (Washington State)

Cheating here a little bit—because Tom is expected to start early in his career. His feet and movement skills are elite, even if his lack of size will limit him in certain schemes. Mitchell isn’t the most physically gifted tackle (when compared to someone like Tom), but he’s technically refined and does offer just enough flexibility to play either right tackle or left tackle. A massive tackle prospect, Lucas looks like a Day Two developmental prospect who, honestly, has starting upside.

Tier II

Rasheed Walker (Penn State)
Austin Deculus (LSU)

Walker is a waist bender and can play with sloppy hands technique, but his athletic profile, size and long arms project very well—but teams would probably like to see him play nastier. Deculus has been a veteran tackle for the Tigers and is the most experienced prospect listed. As you’d expect, he brings a high IQ and knows how to pick up things like stunts and delayed pressures.

Tier III

Dare Rosenthal (Kentucky)
Kellen Diesch (Arizona State)

Rosenthal is much too light for an NFL offensive tackle and needs a lot of work on the finer points of the position, but the tools and talent are there. Diesch is similar in his upside and body type, but his lack of length is a clear negative against him.