The Buffalo Bills are almost assuredly going to be looking for more viable assets on the interior of their offensive line this offseason. Whether it be athletic versatile chess pieces or true road graders, upgrades are much needed on the interior. Veteran guard Rodger Saffold, who started the 2022 season at left guard for the Bills, is on an expiring contract after failing to produce positive on-field results on a one-year signing. There are no clear replacements on the roster at this time, but Saffold isn’t a player you can simply re-sign and rely on to start due to his rising age (35 years old in June) and declining on-field play.
One of the best available places to find cheap talent at a position of need is, of course, the NFL Draft. The highest-quality offensive tackles tend to fly off the board in the first round, and this is regarded as a generally weak offensive tackle class. Offensive guards are not nearly as valuable an asset. This is a solid interior offensive line draft, which sets up a nice formula for the Bills picking at 27th overall.
We’ve laid out the logical path to the Bills selecting an interior offensive lineman in the first round. But now we need to learn the names of the candidates.
Let’s spotlight one of the prime first-round talents in Florida offensive guard O’Cyrus Torrence. Below are highlights from his game against Georgia during the 2022 season after evaluating his All-22 film. A snapshot against competition like Georgia can present a strong sense of how the player handles big-time opponents.
O’Cyrus Torrence scouting report
O’Cyrus Torrence is an offensive guard prospect who has four years of starting experience at the collegiate level. Torrence was a high-profile transfer in the 2022 offseason who followed his head coach, Billy Napier, from Louisiana to the University of Florida. Torrence solidified himself as a high-end talent at the guard position in a hurry, manning the starting right guard job in Gainesville. Torrence recently participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL where he was one of the most consistent offensive linemen throughout the week.
- Massive human who pops on film right away; easy to tell he’s a dude early on
- Does well to diagnose loopers in a quick manner; Clearly a smart football player who could mentally handle what a Kirby Smart defense threw at him
- Violently strikes defenders in the run game, jolting them off the spot with a swiftness
- Played an excellent game against potential No. 1 overall pick Jalen Carter — featured a couple of knockdowns and clear wins in both facets (run and pass)
- Major grip power— if he gets his hands inside of the pads, it’s over
- Worry about him some in isolated situations when faced with athletic interior disruptors in the passing game
- Traditional pass sets are not his strength; moving horizontal looks to come much more natural than angled or vertical pass sets
- Stagnant feet in pass-pro situations allow rushers to attack his shoulders rather than having to go through his chest
- Ends up on the ground too much looking for work in the pass game; Was on the grass a bunch against UGA due to sheer clumsiness
The rep below is highlighted by The Athletic’s Dane Brugler as a loss for Torrence. However, Torrence does a satisfactory job of resetting his base/anchor while one of the most powerful people in college football throws a straight bull rush at him. Torrence gets caught playing a little bit high, but keeps him hemmed in until the quarterback breaks the pocket.
Great to see #Georgia DT Jalen Carter healthy and back on the field.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) October 31, 2022
RG O’Cyrus Torrence is 345 pounds and one of the best iOL in the country. And Carter goes right through him. Still a boss. pic.twitter.com/JoX8Ahlhcf
There is a lot to like about Torrence’s ability to handle grown men on the interior of the offensive line for whatever team he ends up with. You would prefer him to win head-up rather than being a player you utilize on the move often, but he’s shown his ability to diagnose loopers and twists and get to his spot when needed. Torrence should be able to step into a starting role right away in the NFL.
Why he fits the Bills
Torrence has many of the ideals for an offensive guard with Buffalo. The team often prefers athletes on the inside rather than prioritizing stopping power and movement in the run/pass game. However, Torrence would bring a completely different flavor. His ability to get movement in the run game would be a welcome addition for the team.
Drafting Torrence would allow 2022 starting right guard Ryan Bates to flip over to the left side where he seemed more comfortable in the past. This selection makes a lot of sense to add some of what the Bills were hoping to get from Rodger Saffold as a much younger and cheaper option.