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Post 2024 NFL Scouting Combine positional review: OL targets for the Bills

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By: B.J.Monacelli

Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Are the Bills done shuffling things around along the offensive line?

The 2024 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:

  • Defensive Tackle
  • Edge Rusher/Defensive End
  • Linebacker
  • Cornerback
  • Safety
  • Wide Receiver
  • Tight End
  • Running Back
  • Quarterback

The Buffalo Bills’ starting offensive line unit was able to stay intact for the entirety of the 2023 NFL season, which is a rare and remarkable feat. Furthermore, the Bills were headed into the 2024 season with the same starting five on the offensive line as the year before, which is just as rare.

The continuity on the offensive line was set to be off the charts, and then general manager Brandon Beane and company decided to do some shuffling. One Bills Drive released long-time center and fan favorite Mitch Morse before free agency started this offseason. Buffalo also extended their “sixth man” in 2023 to an extension this offseason. The plan is to move 2023 starting left guard Connor McGovern to center and then presumably insert David Edwards into McGovern’s vacated role on the left side.

The Bills currently have 10 offensive linemen on their roster, with a 2024 projected starting line listed here:

  • LT – Dion Dawkins
  • LG – David Edwards
  • C – Connor McGovern
  • RG – O’Cyrus Torrence
  • RT – Spencer Brown

Their backups along the o-line include Ryan Van Demark, Alec Anderson, Richard Gouraige, Kevin Jarvis, and Tommy Doyle (injured in 2023). The Bills’ brass are rumored to be high on Alec Anderson as a swing offensive lineman and Van Demark showed promise last season also.

Buffalo’s roster will inflate to 90 players for the beginning of training camp, so I expect them to sign some low-end free agents in the coming weeks to compete. I also expect them to draft at least one offensive lineman in the 2024 NFL Draft who could develop for a year or two on the bench. I doubt the Bills will use a first-round pick on the offensive line, and it isn’t likely they’ll invest a Day 2 pick there either. Day 3 seems to be the sweet spot for a developmental prospect, but if a player they love falls into their lap earlier than that, the Buffalo might bite.

With that said: Here’s a list of offensive line prospects the Bills could be interested in the next month’s NFL Draft.

For reference:

  • Day 1 = Round 1
  • Day 2 = Rounds 2 & 3
  • Day 3 = Rounds 4-7

Day 1 Considerations

I don’t think the Bills should invest a Day 1 pick on the offensive line, because they have greater needs at other positions — and some of the best players likely to be available populate those groups. However, if they decide to shock everyone by drafting an offensive lineman here, it could be Jackson Powers-Johnson.

Jackson Powers-Johnson (Oregon)

The 2023 Rimington Trophy winner (college football’s best center) is the top interior offensive line prospect in the 2024 class, and he’s likely to be off the board late in Round 1. Powers-Johnson offers various qualities that Buffalo’s current regime seems to like in a center. He has a unique blend of size, power, and agility. He moves well when blocking down the field, can anchor to set the top of the pocket, and has power in the run game. If the Bills want a day-one starter at center, then Powers-Johnson is the man. Even though Powers-Johnson is a quality player who could make an immediate impact for the Bills, I doubt they’ll draft him or any offensive lineman in the first round due to their needs at other key positions.

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 328 pounds
  • Vertical jump: 32”
  • Broad jump: 8’8”
  • Bench press: 30 reps

Day 2 Considerations

Cooper Beebe (Kansas State)

The Bills have decent luck in rostering players with the last name Beebe. Why not keep the train rolling right? However, this Beebe is not a wide receiver with blazing speed (Don Beebe) — he’s a big-bodied bulldozer of an offensive guard. Beebe is in the O’Cyrus Torrence mold, where if he gets his hands on you, it’s game over. He’s a force in the run game with a solid anchor in pass protection. I’m guessing Buffalo’s happy with their current starting offensive line but, if they select Beebe, he would compete for the starting left guard spot out of the gate.

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 322 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 5.03 seconds
  • 10-yard split: 1.75 seconds
  • Vertical jump: 27.5”
  • Broad jump: 9’1”
  • 3-cone drill: 7.44 seconds
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.61 seconds
  • Bench press: 20 reps

Christian Jones (Texas)

Jones is primarily a right tackle and has the prototypical size and length to play the position in the NFL. He shows the effort and willingness to be successful in the run game. His technical work in keeping balance and recovering when he’s out of position is above average. Jones still has some developing to do but, if the Bills fall in love with his skill set, he could be a candidate to trade up for at the end of the third round.

  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 305 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 5.04 seconds
  • 10-yard split: 1.78 seconds
  • 3-cone drill: 8.09 seconds
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.78 seconds
  • Bench press: 20 reps

Day 3 Considerations

Roger Rosengarten (Washington)

Rosengarten is a fringe Day 2/Day 3 OT prospect, but I don’t believe he’ll be available when the Bills pick in the fourth round. Brandon Beane has lots of ammunition on Day 3 to trade up, and I can’t see him using all 11 of the teams 2024 picks. Rosengarten could be someone they trade up for — and it’s possible that he’s slightly underrated in a deep tackle class. If the Bills can snag him on Day 3, Rosengarten would represent a high-value selection.

  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 308 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.92 seconds
  • 10-yard split: 1.73 seconds
  • Vertical jump: 30”
  • Broad jump: 9’5”
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.6 seconds

Tanor Bortolini (Wisconsin)

Bortolini is a center prospect who has the versatility to swing out and play the guard position — and we all know the Bills like positional versatility. He comes from Wisconsin, which is known for pumping out quality offensive linemen. Bortolini is agile enough to pull and get around the edge, and he can hold up in pass protection. Bortolini is a prime prospect to be drafted by Buffalo on Day 3 and develop as a capable backup as he waits for his chance to be a starter. He is my favorite Day 3 o-line option for the Bills.

  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 303 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.94 seconds
  • 10-yard split: 1.69 seconds
  • Vertical jump: 32.5”
  • Broad jump: 9’4”
  • 3-cone drill: 7.16 seconds
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.6 seconds
  • Bench press: 21 reps

Mason McCormick (South Dakota State)

McCormick found plenty of starting experience in college, albeit at a small school. This three-time captain had an outstanding day at this year’s combine, improving his draft stock. He’s an interior offensive lineman who has the athleticism to get to the second level and put hands on faster defenders. McCormick’s pulling ability is a strength and he presents a sound ability to sort out stunts in pass protection. As a Day 3 pick, Mason McCormick would be a quality depth lineman to develop at the back end of Buffalo’s o-line room.

  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 309 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 5.08 seconds
  • 10-yard split: 1.71 seconds
  • Vertical jump: 35.5”
  • Broad jump: 9’9”
  • 3-cone drill: 7.59 seconds
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.45 seconds

Special note: Keaton Bills (Utah) is an offensive guard who likely won’t be drafted. I’ll be rooting for the Bills to sign him as a UDFA for the sheer fact that having “Bills” on the back of a Buffalo Bills uniform would be legendary. Keaton Bills wouldn’t be a charity case either — he is a powerful mauler who has the potential to develop his skills on Buffalo’s practice squad.

In summary

The Bills have more open spots in their offensive line room than anticipated, and I expect them to draft a developmental prospect to compete for roster spots this season. I doubt they’ll draft anyone before Day 3 — but if the right prospect comes along before then, I wouldn’t put it past Buffalo to draft one. That said: There are plenty of quality offensive linemen on Day 3 for them to take a chance on.

And that’s a wrap! That’ll do it for this year’s version of my post NFL Scouting Combine positional review, which is an effort to search for potential Buffalo Bills targets. Thanks for following along — and be on the lookout for plenty of additional draft content coming your way!

Originally posted on Buffalo Rumblings