The 2023 NFL Scouting Combine positional review series comes to an end as we round out the position groups with the offensive line. Remember, if you missed any of the previous articles in this series, find them here:
The offensive line group for the Buffalo Bills is a hot-button topic. They have a solid core of players but there’s still some wiggle room to fit another starting-caliber player in there. At the time of this article, the Bills did already sign Connor McGovern in free agency — presumably to be a starting guard. It was expected that the Bills would add to this position group via free agency, but it shouldn't deter them from trying to upgrade their line via the draft. This really isn’t the best draft class for interior offensive linemen, but there are some prospects who are intriguing. Offensive tackle isn’t exactly a position of need for the Bills — they have Dion Dawkins cemented in at left tackle and they seem to be bullish on keeping Spencer Brown as their starting right tackle. This year's tackle class offers a little more bang for your buck than the interior o-line, so the option is still on the table for the Bills. Here now are the offensive linemen who I think the Bills should consider in the 2023 NFL Draft. Time to get to it!
- Day 1 = Round 1
- Day 2 = Rounds 2 & 3
- Day 3 = Rounds 4-7
Day 1 Considerations
O’Cyrus Torrence, IOL (Florida)
Torrence comes in widely regarded as the top interior offensive line prospect in the draft. He would be a day-one starter for the Bills if they draft him. He is well built for a guard, standing 6’5” and weighing 330 pounds — and he also has decent length with almost 34” arms. Torrence has a natural feel for the position and uses his traits well. The only concern I have is that he doesn’t really match up with what Buffalo looks for in their offensive guards. Torrence is more of a physical presence at the position. He’s someone who likes to overpower and stymie his opponent. Typically, the Bills like to have guards who are capable of pulling around the corner, which is not Torrence’s game. He’s more fit to be involved in a downhill running game. His pass blocking would fit right in with what the Bills are looking for. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), in his college career, Torrence had 1,501 pass-block snaps, and allowed zero sacks and only one QB pressure. Sounds good right? Plus it wouldn’t hurt to have a mauler join the ranks. Overall, if Buffalo picks Torrence, they upgrade their o-line immediately, and that’s why he’s a legitimate Day 1 consideration for the Bills.
Not worth getting on O'Cyrus Torrence's way ... #NFLCombine #Gators pic.twitter.com/003g8XR9Sh— OnlyGators.com: Florida Gators news (@onlygators) March 5, 2023
O’Cyrus Torrence again!— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) February 2, 2023
The @GatorsFB G is securing the with his performance at the Senior Bowl pic.twitter.com/jkJivb2EF9
Anton Harrison, OT (Oklahoma)
This might be an unpopular pick for Bills Mafia, as it might bring up some bad memories of a former OT from Oklahoma drafted by the Bills in 2019 (cough.. cough.. Cody Ford). It’s understandable to be weary of drafting another OT from Oklahoma after the last one was a bust, but it shouldn’t deter Buffalo from being interested. After all, they are two different players. Harrison measured in at the combine at 6’4” and 315 pounds, and has good length with 34 1/8” arms. He ran a 4.98-second 40-yard dash (second fastest for OL), a 1.77-second 10-yard split, had a 28.5” vertical jump, and 8’9” broad jump. I like the way he plays within his means; he never seems rushed or frazzled. He is adept in his body position in both pass blocking and run blocking. Harrison isn’t a mauler but has a solid punch and good hand placement. His pass protection is better than his run blocking, but he can also be effective in the run game. I’m not sure the Bills will be looking for a tackle this high, since they seem to be content with Spencer Brown at RT going into 2023, but it couldn’t hurt to bring in some competition in case that goes poorly. They also need some depth at the position, but that could be addressed later in the draft.
Anton Harrison is a Top 15 player in this class. 33 pressures allowed on 1002 career pass blocking snaps pic.twitter.com/J4P7Kkwcot— James Foster (@NoFlagsFilm) March 7, 2023
Day 2 Considerations
Steve Avila, IOL (TCU)
Avila is a redshirt senior who earned second-team AP All-American honors in 2022. He never allowed a sack in his career at TCU. At 6’3 1/2” and 332 pounds, Avila ran a 5.21-second 40-yard dash with a 1.86-second 10-yard split. He has experience playing both guard and center — something the Bills would value. He is proficient in blocking at the second level and can track down a moving target. His size and strength hold steady when bull-rushed and prove effective when run-blocking. Avila is better moving vertically than laterally, which might become a problem with quicker players in the NFL. Overall, I think Avila offers the Bills some versatility on their offensive line as someone who could start immediately. He’s a quality consideration for Buffalo.
.@TCUFootball’s Steve Avila is looking agile out there. He is @MoveTheSticks’ No. 35 overall prospect.— NFL (@NFL) March 5, 2023
: #NFLCombine on @nflnetwork
: Stream on NFL+ pic.twitter.com/i0cZ1IOC6K
Most teams view TCU’s Steve Avila as OG but he’d bring unique size & strength to OC spot.— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 14, 2023
330-lber is good OC option for teams w/ undersized QBs who need deep pocket. Makes sense Round 2 for team that picks Bryce Young.
Avila is a wall in pass pro. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ pic.twitter.com/Rc8OleRY2Q
Luke Wypler, C/IOL (Ohio State)
Wypler comes slightly undersized but makes up for it with his athleticism. Here are his combine results:
- 40-yard dash = 5.14 seconds
- 10-yard split = 1.83 seconds
- Vertical jump = 30.5”
- Broad jump = 8’10”
- 3-cone drill = 7.64 seconds
- 20-yard shuttle = 4.53 seconds
- Bench press = 29 reps
Luke Wypler was a two-year starter for the Buckeyes and was a vital part of the spread offense. He has the ability to pull from the center position and lead around the corner (just like the Bills tend to do with Mitch Morse). Wypler is best in these situations when he’s on the move and can use his quickness to “out position” defenders. He isn’t overly powerful and is susceptible to bull rushes by bigger defensive tackles. Even though center Mitch Morse is still on the roster, I think it would be a good idea for Buffalo to have a replacement plan coming down the pipeline for him. If they draft Wypler. he provides insurance in case of a Morse injury and he could possibly fill in at guard until he’s ready to be the full-time starter at center.
have yourself a day ☑️ @LukeWypler— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) March 5, 2023
: #NFLCombine on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/GhzZNzXsBp
C - Luke Wypler 6'3" 300— Erik Turner (@ErikJTurner) January 27, 2023
Natural movement skills
Quickness to excel on reach blocks
Excellent non verbal communication w teammates
Efficient balanced sets w range
Engages and attempts to finish near LOS
Uncanny ability to remain on same level as teammates
Big fan pic.twitter.com/hIo23y0cBy
Matthew Bergeron, OT (Syracuse)
Bergeron offers some positional versatility for the Bills. I could see him being used as a swing tackle or even inside at a guard position. The 6’5”, 318-pound offensive lineman didn’t run at the combine but he did post a 30.5” vertical jump and 8’7” broad jump. His run-blocking abilities are his best asset. He can fire off the line with authority and has the strength to move defenders to make big holes. His awareness of picking up twists/stunts are above average, and he has the athletic ability to mirror the pass rusher. Bergeron could come in and compete for a starting position on Buffalo’s offensive line, and at worst offer quality depth in his rookie year while developing.
Went back to watch more of #Syracuse LT Matthew Bergeron and I’ve come away more and more impressed with his foot speed, grip strength and ability to reset his hands.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) March 11, 2023
Athleticism was always apparent but he’s got a strong punch and quick hands to recover. pic.twitter.com/Yl2hMqhIKH
"That was a phenomenal rep by Matthew Bergeron."— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) March 5, 2023
- #NFLCombine March 2-5 on @NFLNetwork pic.twitter.com/ydcs8fH18v
Day 3 Considerations
Juice Scruggs, C/IOL (Penn State)
Scruggs was a two-year starter and team captain for Penn State. Another player who offers versatility, he has experience starting at guard and center. Scruggs is a high-character player who is a leader on and off the field. Of note, he suffered a back injury in a car accident that kept him from playing in the 2019 season. Scruggs had a long road to recovery but showed grit and determination to find his way back to the football field. I expect the Bills to be interested in him on Day 3 of the draft. Scruggs measures in at 6’3” and 301 pounds, and had a solid performance at the combine:
- 40-yard dash = 5.22 seconds
- 10-yard split = 1.79 seconds
- Vertical jump = 32”
- Broad jump = 8’16”
- 3-cone drill = 7.75 seconds
- 20-yard shuttle = 4.82 seconds
- Bench press = 29 reps
Scruggs is a stalwart interior offensive lineman who has strong hands and punch. He anchors well with a wide base and often is a challenge for defenders to bull rush. Scruggs is constantly looking for work and finishes to the whistle. He is athletic enough to reach block and be a puller, but sometimes he struggles against quicker defenders in the box. If the Bills don’t draft any offensive lineman on Day 1 or Day 2, I expect them to be looking for depth options on Day 3 for players with potential to become starters. Juice Scruggs is one of those players Buffalo should consider.
.@PennStateFball Juice Scruggs (@JuiceScruggs) was among the most dominant linemen during @ShrineBowl practices.— Eric Galko (@EricGalko) February 16, 2023
Per @PFF_College, he had a 93.1 grade across 56 practice pass blocking reps.
He should be one of the first centers drafted. Plug and play NFL starter. #PennState pic.twitter.com/hZc1EUuH24
Here is a crop of OL that I really like and you can compare movement skills— Brad (@Graham_SFN) March 5, 2023
- Nick Saldiveri
- John Michael Schmitz Jr
- Juice Scruggs
- Peter Skoronski
- Sidy Sow pic.twitter.com/Bx7jOqtIBF
Olusegun Oluwatimi, C/IOL (Michigan)
The four-year starter won the Rimington (top center) and Outland (top offensive or defensive lineman) trophies in his senior season at Michigan. Oluwatimi’s production and experience are a positive, and he will likely be ready for whatever NFL offenses have to throw at him. He is a competitor who excels in pass blocking. Run blocking isn’t his strength — he struggles to be an effective reach blocker and his lateral agility is below average. Oluwatimi offers immediate starting potential for teams looking for a center. If the Bills come across him falling on Day 3, it might be a good idea for them to consider him as a depth center behind Mitch Morse — someone who can step in and play if there were to be an injury.
Whatever grade you have on @UMichFootball OC Olu Oluwatimi it’s probably too low.— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 9, 2023
Seeing very little on here about Outland & Rimington winner and not sure why.
Tested well (9-2 BJ, 29.0 VJ, 29 reps) and blew teams away in Combine interviews.
He’ll start for somebody as rookie. pic.twitter.com/hwqvueaGjm
Olu Oluwatimi 1.86u#NFLCombine2023 pic.twitter.com/95xc47EWC0— WalkTheMock (@WalkTheMock) March 5, 2023
The Buffalo Bills can look at adding multiple spots along the offensive line in next month’s draft. There are plenty of considerations throughout the prospect pool for possible day-one starters, and also players who can add depth/versatility to improve the overall unit.
That’s it, we’ve made it to the end of Buffalo Rumblings 2023 NFL Scouting Combine positional review. Thanks for following along through all ten installments! It will be interesting to see how the Bills and general manager Brandon Beane attack this draft.