16 offensive tackles to know for Bills, Part 2

16 offensive tackles to know for Bills, Part 2
Posted at 2:06 PM, Jan 29, 2016

The NFL Draft is just one piece of the puzzle for the Buffalo Bills, but with such an importance placed on next season, they’ll need to get their first few picks right. The Bills want the postseason, badly, and making the right moves in late April could be the key to the playoffs.

Each week, 7 ABC will go through and outline some of the players you should know in this year’s draft process. This week, it’s all about the players that protect the quarterback — offensive tackles.

A look at four more offensive tackles the Bills may look at come April for the 2016 NFL Draft:

Jason Spriggs, Indiana
6’6”, 305 lbs.
What he’s all about: A lot of times NFL teams are looking for players with loads of potential, and that’s exactly what Jason Spriggs is. Coming from a spread system at Indiana, Spriggs hasn’t been asked to do everything he will once he gets to the NFL, but, he’s got quite a bit of ability that could make him into a good player at the next level. His biggest attribute is his athleticism and an ability to move. It helps him with his footwork, and he’s able to mirror with his defender. You can often tell just by how well he moves, that he was a former tight end. That also brings his weaknesses to light. He’s still building his upper body strength and that has gotten him into some trouble against more powerful defenders. Just from the eye test, it does look like he can get bigger, as he isn’t built like most offensive tackles. He’s a bit more raw, but with some good coaching and additional strength, he could develop into a good starter. He’s probably a Day Two pick at this point.

How he would fit the Bills: Spriggs is one of those players that are right in the realm of where they would consider taking a tackle. Unless Spriggs really shows some things, he might not be ready to start right away. With how much they like their linemen to move, though, Spriggs would be an ideal fit for Greg Roman’s blocking scheme. He’ll just need some time. In the third round, if he’s available, it would be worth it.



Joe Haeg, North Dakota State
6’5”, 300 lbs.
What he’s all about: A small school prospect, Joe Haeg was overshadowed by his quarterback Carson Wentz, but he’s a solid prospect in his own right. Haeg has the ideal size and length for the position, and like Spriggs, he moves quite well with solid footwork, and displays a good kick slide in pass blocking. His issues are with stronger pass rushers, where he can get pushed back. With that written, he likely needs to get bigger when he gets to the NFL. He’s likely a Day Two to early Day Three selection.

How he would fit the Bills: Spriggs and Haeg are similar prospects, except that Haeg is a year older and played against worse competition during his college career. His athleticism makes him an intriguing third or fourth-round pick for the Bills if he is available there.



Cole Toner, Harvard
6’6”, 300 lbs.
What he’s all about: Toner is also a small school prospect, but quite athletic player for the position. Similarly to the first two players listed, he’s solid footwork allows him to get to the spot ahead of the defender and he holds his ground well. He also flashes a nasty streak to finish his blocks. While at Harvard, Toner played right tackle, and that didn’t allow his lack of length to beat him. He struggles with an overall balance, and can get caught with his head down. He also needs to get stronger. He’s a likely Day Three selection.

How he would fit the Bills: Toner is a developmental prospect that likely isn’t ready to start straight away for a team. His lack of playing both tackle positions hurt his versatility for teams looking at him as a draftable prospect. With the amount of right tackle only options the Bills already have on their roster, drafting Toner wouldn’t make a lot of sense to take — unless they could sneak him on to the practice squad.



Tyler Johnstone, Oregon
6’6”, 295 lbs.
What he’s all about: A once promising prospect, a torn ACL derailed his 2014 season and he hasn’t really been the same since. He’s got outstanding height and length for the job at left tackle, but he is quite underweight for what teams would want out of their left tackles. Johnstone bends at the waist a bit too much, struggles with speed to power, doesn’t have the athleticism that some of the other underweight prospects do, and he gets caught with his head down. Johnstone is a late round type of player that could go undrafted.

How he would fit the Bills: Unless he adds some weight, and thereby gets more functional strength for the position, he would be nothing more than a training camp body to try and push for the practice squad. A late round selection would be best used at a different position on a player that could possibly push to make the roster for special teams reasons.



Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia





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