If you had told most Buffalo Bills fans that the linchpin to the offensive line in 2021 would be either Dion Dawkins or Mitch Morse, I’m pretty sure that no one would be surprised. However, if you’d have told them that the guy who played at the highest level for the most games other than those two was a rookie drafted in the third round from a small school? I’m not sure how many people would have believed you until it happened.
The Bills have done a great job building through the draft, and their offensive line has been augmented with talented draft choices throughout the tenures of general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott. Last year, the team added two offensive tackles, one of whom ended up starting the majority of the games on the right side. In doing so, he cemented himself as the team’s starter for the immediate future.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we discuss Buffalo’s soon-to-be second-year right tackle.
Name: Spencer Brown
Height/Weight: 6’8” 311 lbs
Age: 24 (25 on 2/28/2023)
Experience/Draft: 2; selected in the third round (No. 93 overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft by Buffalo
College: Northern Iowa
Acquired: Third-round draft choice
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Brown enters the second year of his rookie contract, a four-year deal worth $4,834,697 overall. His salary cap hit for the season is $1,098,795, and the Bills would be on the hook for a dead-cap charge of $657,108 if he were to be cut or traded.
2021 Recap: After playing a limited number of snaps as the sixth offensive linemen in the first three games of the year, Brown was elevated to the starting lineup for Buffalo’s Week 4 blowout victory over the Houston Texans. He started the following week against the Tennessee Titans, as well, but a back injury caused him to miss Buffalo’s next two games. He played against the New York Jets on November 14, starting and manning the right tackle spot for each offensive snap, but he was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list a few days after that game, so he missed Buffalo’s next two contests. He returned to the lineup when Buffalo hosted the New England Patriots in Week 13, starting that game and every subsequent game, as well. Brown committed eight penalties, which was tied for tenth-most among offensive tackles last year, but he allowed just one sack in his 726 offensive snaps.
Positional outlook: Brown is the starting right tackle when healthy. He’ll be opposite left tackle Dion Dawkins. Tommy Doyle, Bobby Hart, Luke Tenuta, Derek Kerstetter, Alec Anderson, Cody Ford, and David Quessenberry are the other players on the roster listed at tackle.
2022 Offseason: Brown missed all of OTAs due to injury, but he’s been working in limited capacity at training camp so far.
2022 Season outlook: Brown is the starting right tackle when healthy, and while one professional season doesn’t necessarily indicate a trend, he’s had some issues staying healthy so far. Between last year’s injury, his placement on the COVID list, and his injuries keeping him out of OTAs, there may be minor cause for concern. Of course, Brown could very well go out and play 17 regular-season games this year—and hopefully three winning playoff games—to prove that the last calendar year’s issues are a mere fluke. Buffalo needs him badly up front, as the line was significantly better with him playing last year than it was without him. This year should be no different, as the drop-off from Brown to an unknown quantity in Doyle or a mediocre pass protector in Quessenberry would be incredibly detrimental to what should be one of the league’s best offenses. Here’s hoping that Brown can build off his solid rookie campaign towards a productive, healthy 2022.