Buffalo Bills: A post-minicamp look at the battles along the offensive line
By Daniel Hahn
The Buffalo Bills will be ushering in a new QB. Protecting him is up to a rebuilt offensive line, with up to three positions up for grabs this summer.
Add the offensive line into the discussion about the questions for the Buffalo Bills on offense in 2018. There are several positions that will feature some training camp battles to decide the starting unit.
This article takes a look at all five offensive line positions to pick out the projected starter, along with some names to watch.
Starting with left tackle…
Projected starter – Dion Dawkins
You already know who the Bills starter at left tackle will be in 2018. Dion Dawkins is a second-year player from Temple University. The former second-round pick was slated to compete at right tackle last season. However, an injury to Cordy Glenn allowed Dawkins to work most of training camp at left tackle, and he would eventually start 11 games during 2017.
Dawkins quickly adapted to the NFL. He was a player projected to take multiple years to develop, but forced into action, he quickly held his own and proved that he is ready to start at the NFL’s hardest line position.
The Bills felt confident enough in Dawkins to make former LT Cordy Glenn available for trade. Glenn, who was eventually traded to the Bengals, gave the Bills enough draft capital to move up in the draft and select QB Josh Allen. A player that Dawkins hopes to protect for many years to come.
Name to watch – Conor McDermott
Conor McDermott was signed off the New England Patriots practice squad. He’s been in the Bills program for over a year, and has the physical traits one would want in a left tackle. Dawkins is probably the most locked in starter of the entire offensive line, yet if McDermott can shine during camp, it make start to create possibilities. Dawkins is good enough to start at either tackle, and finding the right mix of five is more important than just finding one starter at left tackle.
McDermott could have a strong preseason and be a better left tackle, allowing Dawkins to potentially slide to the right side if that competition falters.