Buffalo Bills have both starting tackles make PFF offensive tackle rankings
One of the surprises last season for the Buffalo Bills was the play of their offensive tackles. The surprise wasn’t so much from Dion Dawkins, who has been developing into one of the better left tackles in the league, but more so Daryl Williams.
The Bills signed Williams to a one-year, “prove-it” type deal and he certainly did that by winning the right tackle job. He would not only win the job but he would start every game, regular season and playoffs, for the Bills. He was rewarded with a long-term deal this offseason and should be the starting right tackle this season.
The combination of Dawkins and Williams created strong bookends on the offensive line that helped not only this Buffalo Bills offense have a great season but also Josh Allen have a career year.
This is why it isn’t all that surprising that both tackles made Pro Football Focus’ latest rankings for offensive tackles for the upcoming season. Dawkins entered the list at 21st overall and Anthony Treash wrote:
"Dawkins is the model of consistency when it comes to protecting the quarterback. His career-low pass-blocking grade sits at 76.2 (2018), while his career-high is 79.2 (2020). His run blocking has been shakier, but he was more impactful in that facet in 2020 than in the two seasons prior to that. Dawkins earned a 75.1 run-blocking grade last year, which was more than 10 grading points better than his 2018 and 2019 marks and closer to his 2017 rookie campaign number."
As for Daryl Williams, he wasn’t that far behind at 28th overall and Treash wrote about the starting right tackle:
"After an injury-plagued, up-and-down five-year stint with Carolina to begin his NFL career, Williams joined the Bills prior to the 2020 season to be their starting right tackle. Not only did he play in all 19 games, but he also played at an extremely high level. His 80.0 pass-blocking grade ranked fourth among right tackles. If Williams can stay healthy and piece together another season like that in 2021, I suspect he will shoot up this list."
Even with the strong play of both Dawkins and Williams, it didn’t stop the Buffalo Bills from continuing to strengthen this position by drafting Spencer Brown in the third round and Tommy Doyle in the fifth round. Both players are considered incredible athletes but could use some development on their technique.
While Williams likely will have to compete with one, or both of these players down the road, this season he should have a good hold on the starting job. Another strong season from both tackles should set Josh Allen to build off his breakout season last year. The strength of this offense should remain to be the passing game and that means Josh Allen will need time in the pocket to find his targets downfield.