Top Five Buffalo Bills Training Camp Battles To Watch: Part Two- Left Tackle


Left Tackle Job “Wide Open”

When the clock struck 8:00 pm on April 22, 2010, Buffalo Bills fans were anxious to see which quarterback or left tackle the team would select to fill one of the two most glaring positional needs on the team, due to the loss of former left tackle, Jason Peters in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Instead, General Manager, Buddy Nix decided to wait until the third day of the draft to select a player of either position, selecting Virginia Tech tackle, Ed Wang, in the fifth round, and the highly overlooked Iowa prospect, Kyle Calloway, in the seventh round.

By now, we know that new Head Coach, Chan Gailey prefers a run-first offensive attack. So who will be called upon to protect the quarterback’s blindside, as well as blocking for the run?

The Contenders

1. Demetrius Bell

    When Langston Walker was released by the Bills just prior to week one of the 2009 season, the seventh round selection from the 2008 NFL Draft was thrown into the starting role.

    Bell unimpressively and inconsistently started at left tackle for the season’s first eight games, racking up way too many penalties, until he was placed on Injured Reserve with a torn ACL.

    Bell is the seasoned veteran of the team, having notched eight career starts in two seasons for the Bills. Gulp.

    While Bell is somewhat agile and exhibits decent footwork, he has very short arms, which limits his abilities in pass protection.

    2. Jamon Meredith

      When the Buffalo Bills’ right tackle, Brad Butler, went down for the season, we found this physical specimen wandering around on the Green Bay Packers practice squad. He was starting at right tackle that Sunday.

      Despite being thrust into a new system in mere days, Meredith showed extreme upside, as he was lined up across from Julius Peppers for his first career start, and performed far better than expected.

      According to guard Eric Wood, Meredith’s 6’5” 311 lb frame “passes the eye test.” Wood also added that Meredith was one of the strongest players he’s seen.

      Meredith definitely has the most upside out of any of the tackles currently on the roster, but really needs improvement in his technique, as relying on sheer strength doesn’t often translate too well in the NFL

      3. Ed Wang

        Wang is the first Chinese-American to ever play in the NFL, but unfortunately it may take some time for him to actually get on the field. He does have decent footwork and agility, but his short arms and lack of upper body strength will prove to be Wang’s Achilles heel.

        At Virginia Tech he established himself as a quality tackle, and I still think he can do so in the NFL…but as a 5th round rookie, he most likely will play with the practice squad until he can add some strength to his frame and solidify his technique.

        Is There Anybody Out There?

        The Bills are in an ideal position financially to acquire a top-tier left tackle, as Bell is slated to earn roughly $1 million over the next two seasons, Meredith was signed off a practice squad, and Wang was a 5th round pick.

        Buddy Nix covets his draft picks, but I believe a second round pick for Jared Gaither of the Baltimore Ravens is a generous deal that is foolish to not jump at. At 25 years old, Gaither has already proven himself as a quality tackle, and is well worth every dollar Ole’ Ralphie wont pony up.

        Another player the Bills should keep an eye on is Flozell Adams, who was recently released by the Dallas Cowboys. Adams would add a veteran presence to a very young offensive line, and could serve as a mentor to Wang and Bell.

        Flozell would have to be attracted to sign with Buffalo, but I believe a trade of our 2011 second round pick for Gaither would be a great decision.

        Breakdown

        The Bills are in an ideal position financially to acquire a top-tier left tackle, as Bell is slated to earn roughly $1 million over the next two seasons, Meredith was signed off a practice squad, and Wang was a 5th round pick.

        Buddy Nix covets his draft picks, but I believe a second round pick for Jared Gaither of the Baltimore Ravens is a generous deal that is foolish to not jump at. At 25 years old, Gaither has already proven himself as a quality tackle, and is well worth every dollar Ole’ Ralphie wont pony up.

        Another player the Bills should keep an eye on is Flozell Adams, who was recently released by the Dallas Cowboys. Adams would add a veteran presence to a very young offensive line, and could serve as a mentor to Wang and Bell.

        Flozell would have to be attracted to sign with Buffalo, but I believe a trade of our 2011 second round pick for Gaither would be a great decision.

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        Tags: Buffalo Bills Demetrius Bell Ed Wang Jamon Meredith

        • http://www.touchdownfreak.com Jason

          this list is not making me feel any better about our running attack.