If Buffalo Bills cut Mitch Morse, this prospect is a perfect replacement
By Ryan Heckman
This offseason, the Buffalo Bills have to focus on their offensive line. Specifically, they’ll have a couple of decisions to make on some veterans.
First and foremost, they should let veteran free agent guard Rodger Saffold walk. He was an enormous liability last season and must be replaced.
Moreover, the Bills might end up having to make a tough decision regarding starting center Mitch Morse. The veteran offensive lineman could save the Bills $6 million if cut, and that’s money the Bills will need to get under the 2023 salary cap.
Morse, who will be 31 in April, was mediocre during the 2022 season. He might have been the Bills’ best pass blocker, but was less than ideal in the run game. Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of just 57.3 in run blocking, for example.
If the Bills decided to cut Morse, they could go after a replacement within the first two or three rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft.
University of Minnesota center John Michael Schmitz would be a fantastic replacement for Buffalo Bills starter Mitch Morse, if cut
The 6-foot-4 center out of Minnesota would be an ideal replacement for Morse. John Michael Schmitz could be a longterm option for the Bills, who need to get younger and well, frankly, better overall up front.
Weighing 320 pounds, Schmitz has great size for an interior lineman. He can beat you in a variety of ways, but more than anything, he’s a smart player. Many linemen will tell you that the center has to be the smartest player on the football field, at all times, announcing protection, switches and understanding his four line mates’ assignments.
Schmitz is a very intelligent player, and he especially excels in the run game; something Morse was inconsistent within.
What gives Schmitz a high ceiling in the NFL, specifically, is his strength within his base. He anchors really, really well. And he can do so against power rushers, or the second level types as well. He handles blitzes swiftly and rarely gets caught out of position.
Along with being a stronger lineman, Schmitz is plenty athletic and can pull when asked. He’s got just about everything you could ask for in a prototypical NFL center, and the Bills would be doing Josh Allen a huge service by drafting him.