While so many are focused on the quarterback controversy about the Buffalo Bills, let’s not forget that whoever is under center will be protected by an almost new offensive line. Every great play that is made starts in the trenches. The Bills offensive line performed in the run game last year, allowing LeSean McCoy to rush over 1,000 yards but allowed many sacks on both Tyrod Taylor and Nathan Peterman.
From left to right, for a majority of the season it was Dion Dawkins, Richie Incognito, Eric Wood, Vladimir Ducasse and Jordan Mills. Cordy Glenn saw some reps but battled through injuries throughout the season, which allowed Dawkins to secure the left tackle position.
Heading into the 2018 season, Incognito and Wood are both gone and Ducasse and Mills could be going down on the depth chart after last season. Glenn was also traded away to the Bengals during free agency. The only one who may return as a starter in the trenches on offense is Dawkins.
In recent years, the Bills offensive line was built to run the ball. Incognito and Wood were the main leaders and aside from injuries, Glenn played like a top ten tackle in the league at one point. Fans will see new bodies on the line, but these guys are younger which could set them up for the future.
From left to right, the prediction for the Bills new offensive line goes as listed:
LT: Dion Dawkins
A no-brainer here. Dawkins fulfilled the position once Glenn went down with an ankle injury and played very well. He protected Taylor’s blind spot for the most part and was effective in the run game. Dawkins is heading into his second season and will look to keep up his productivity and build himself into a potential franchise left tackle.
LG: Wyatt Teller
A fifth round draft pick in 2018, Teller comes to the Bills as a more of an underrated offensive lineman who dropped surprisingly low in the draft. An absolute beast who shined in 2016 at Virginia Tech. Teller can become a bruising blocker, much like Incognito and compete in the middle of the trenches because of his size and strength he possesses.
C: Ryan Groy
A familiar name to Bills fans. Groy stepped up when Eric Wood went down with a broken leg in 2016. Not allowing a sack in 2016 and helping bring some stability to a beaten up Bills offensive line that year. It’s time for Groy to take on the responsibility of a center and help solidify the offensive line.
RG: John Miller
Miller has had his unfortunate battle with injuries recently, but let’s not forget that he was a big help in the run game his first two years in the league. After a disappointing season by Ducasse last season, assuming he’s healthy, Miller should win the right guard position and help improve the right side of the offensive line.
RT: Marshall Newhouse
A veteran who the Bills signed in the offseason. Newhouse comes from Oakland and will look to bring atleast a little more help on the right edge. Newhouse should easily beat out Mills for the starting job and bring a veteran presence to the trenches for the Bills.
Based on last season, this prediction has the Bills as a younger offensive line. This can be the start up of a future line that could dominate the league or it can be a just a one to two year plan for the Bills. There’s no doubt that there will be plays where Bills fans wish Incognito and Wood were playing, but remember, Sean McDermott has proven a lot to the Bills organization with bumps on the road. This is just another bump on the road that could surprise us all on what McDermott decides to do.
Brandon Ray is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL and the Buffalo Bills. Follow him on Twitter at @brandon_ray79 and @FPC_Bills for Bills coverage.