Assistant General Manager Doug Whaley understands the thought process necessary to evaluate the right players to fit into the 53-man roster for the Buffalo Bills, Ryan Talbot, featured columnist for Bleacher Report reported on Feb. 19.
Doug Whaley, in an interview with John Murphy, the official announcer for the Buffalo Bills, made it clear that the Bills draft process is 80 percent tape, 10 percent All-Star Games and 10 percent NFL Combine.
The NFL Combine begins on Saturday, Feb. 23 and the Buffalo Bills scouting personnel will study every player, but the focus may be on quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive guards and linebackers. Based on these needs, the Buffalo Bills will may pay close attention to two specific prospects in the offensive guard position.
Larry Warford, University of Kentucky: Warford is ranked at number three in the offensive guard position behind Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper. Speculation is that Warmack and Cooper will go in the top 10 of the NFL Draft. Larry Warford might go late in round one, or even possibly early in the second round, making him an available option as an offensive guard pick for the Buffalo Bills.
As an offensive guard, Warford is short at 6’3”, but has incredible strength in the pass protection. Larry Warford is decent at pulling on run plays, but he is not an offensive guard who is quick enough to get down the field to block.
The Buffalo Bills may lose the team’s current offensive guard Andy Levitre to free agency due to the salary cap. Larry Warford is not as athletic as Levitre, but if necessary Warford would be a decent replacement for the Buffalo Bills because he can step in on day one as a starter in the offensive guard position.
Justin Pugh, Syracuse: Pugh may be the new Bills head coach Doug Marrone’s favorite choice in the offensive guard position. Pugh played offensive tackle at Syracuse, but is a better fit as an offensive guard in the NFL. Justin Pugh has good footwork and agility, but the biggest concern is the length of his arms. Pugh has 31.5” arms, which is short for an NFL lineman.
Speculation is that Justin Pugh will go in the third or even possibly the early fourth round of the NFL Draft. Buffalo’s new head coach Doug Marrone is very familiar with Justin Pugh, and Pugh would provide good value for the Buffalo Bills because he is already familiar with Marrone’s offensive system.
The Buffalo Bills may not focus as intently on Pugh at the NFL Combine as they will with other prospects in the offensive guard position. Head coach Doug Marrone has likely already shared a great wealth of knowledge about what Justin Pugh can bring to the Bills organization.