The Buffalo Bills value versatility in their offensive linemen, especially those who project as reserves. If the team can carry just nine linemen on the 53-man roster, suiting eight of those players up on game day, that seems to be the goal. If a player can fill in along the interior offensive line and at tackle, it increases that player’s chances at being active on game day.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile one of Buffalo’s young offensive linemen — a player looking to crack the roster based on his versatility.
Name: Richard Gouraige (pronounced as an American would say “garage”)
Height/Weight: 6’5”, 306 pounds
Age: 24 (25 on 10/15/2023)
Experience/Draft: R; signed with Bills following the 2023 NFL Draft
Acquired: UDFA signing
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Gouraige signed a three-year deal worth a total of $2,722,500 overall. For the 2023 season, he carries a cap hit of $759,166 if he makes the team. His signing bonus, which is $27,500 overall, represents his dead-cap number should the Bills release him prior to the start of the season.
2022 Recap: Gouraige started his final 25 collegiate games — 12 in 2021 and 13 in 2022 — at left tackle for the Gators. He also played left guard in his college career, starting five games there as a redshirt freshman in 2019. Gouraige was invited to the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, participating in the bench press portion. He did 23 reps at the combine, which was the third-lowest total among offensive linemen invited to the event. He tied with former college teammate — and current professional teammate — O’Cyrus Torrence.
Positional outlook: Gouraige joins plenty of other linemen vying for spots among the team’s reserves. Dion Dawkins, Spencer Brown, Tommy Doyle, David Quessenberry, Brandon Shell, Alec Anderson, and Ryan Van Demark are the other offensive tackles.
2023 Offseason: Gouraige is healthy and participating in offseason activities.
2023 Season outlook: The key for Gouraige will be similar to essentially every other reserve offensive lineman on Buffalo’s roster. He’ll have to show that he can fill in at multiple positions effectively in order to have a shot at being part of the final roster. However, even if he does that, the team has a host of veteran options who are, at worst, a safer bet to protect their franchise quarterback than an undrafted rookie, so it makes Gouraige a longer shot than he’d otherwise be. A spot on the practice squad could be the best option here, as it’s unlikely that Gouraige will show enough to warrant a spot on the 53-man roster this year.