The Buffalo Bills made a point to address the interior of the team’s offensive line during free agency earlier this spring. One position that could use some reinforcement is center, with Mitch Morse now 32 years old and burdened with a troubling history of concussions.
While the need may not seem immediate, with Morse continuing to play well, the Bills are doing their homework on center prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft.
On the 26O Podcast, Wisconsin center Joe Tippmann mentioned that he was on of Buffalo’s official top-30 visits this draft cycle.
A decorated redshirt two-year starter for the Badgers, Tippmann projects as a late Round 1 or early Day 2 prospect. Tippmann measured in at 6’6” and 313 pounds, with 32 3/4” arms and 10 3/4” hands at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.
There’s a lot to love about Tippmann as a prospect. He’s an intelligent player, whose football IQ is continuously ascending. He’s a rare specimen at the position, with incredible size and impressive athleticism. His motor is constantly charged, and he carries the traits teams look for in natural leaders.
Scouts and analysts raise some concern of Tippmann’s size, which could impact his flexibility and leverage as a center in the NFL. But Tippmann is a road-grade mauler who punishes defenders at every encounter. Tippmann is a physical marvel, and in 2022 made the list of Feldman’s Freaks. His reported 1.65-second 10-yard split, 635-pound back squat, and 455-pound max bench press numbers back up the rare potential that Tippmann brings as a center.
Perhaps not a plug-and-play prospect for most NFL teams, with the right coaching and given time to refine his technique, Tippmann should develop into a great starting NFL center in short order.
Does Joe Tippmann fit the Bills? While it’s difficult for any 6’6” 313-pound human to fit in many places, One Bills Drive might be the perfect landing spot for Tippmann. He’d have an opportunity to learn behind Morse, without being thrown to the wolves waiting to exploit those coachable leverage concerns. But is the late first or early second round too soon for the Bills to consider a player they might see at the heir apparent to Mitch Morse?