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2019 NFL Draft: Replacing Vlad Ducasse

The Bills will surely be looking for more pieces at guard in the draft

After being declared the starter following training camp and playing the first nine games of the season, Buffalo Bills left guard Vlad Ducasse was unceremoniously relegated to the bench after losing his spot to rookie fifth-rounder Wyatt Teller. In the final year of his three-year contract with the team, it’s likely that general manager Brandon Beane chooses to move on from the nine-year veteran. If so, the team may look to Teller to fully replace him, or they could look towards the draft in search of an upgrade; and they have a hole at right guard, where John Miller is a free agent.

Tier I

Cody Ford (Oklahoma)
Michael Deiter (Wisconsin)
Dalton Risner (Kansas State)

Ford has spent his entire career at right tackle, but his overwhelming athleticism and strength make it easy to project him inside. He has elite movement skills and long arms and is worthy of a first-round pick. As mentioned in a previous article, Deiter can play all over the offensive line, and is a tough, aggressive blocker. He specializes in earning movement in the run game and paying the iron price. Another player who spent his entire career at tackle, Risner is a projection, but he clearly possesses the strength and quickness to play guard and play it well.

Tier II

Chris Lindstrom (Boston College)
Beau Benzschawel (Wisconsin)
Connor McGovern (Penn State)
Michael Jordan (Ohio State)
Garrett Brumfield (LSU)

Lindstrom has spent his career playing guard in Boston College’s run-heavy, play action scheme, but he may struggle adjusting to one that requires more pass blocking. Benzschawel’s scouting report reads similarly to John Miller’s: strength at the point of attack, but not flexible or mobile at all. A player who wins with quickness and leverage is McGovern, who would fit nicely into a zone scheme. Jordan has the look of an offensive lineman and his ceiling is high, but he’s raw and needs major development before he can begin to reach that ceiling. You have to love Brumfield’s mentality to dominate on the field—it’s just unfortunate that he gets so lazy and sloppy in pass protection.

Tier III

Ryan Bates (Penn State)
Dru Samia (Oklahoma)
Ben Powers (Oklahoma)

Bates was stuck playing tackle (poorly) the past year, so a move back to guard may be in the cards for him. His footwork is about what you’d expect from a tackle, but sadly his anchor against bigger tackles is as well. Samia looks great when moving, pinning and blocking at the second level. But if asked to block one-on-one, as he recently was against Alabama, he struggles. Powers is almost the same way, but he doesn’t move nearly as well as Samia.