Rare is the NFL team with quality depth across the offensive line. The Buffalo Bills certainly have to feel they're one of those few after some aggressive moves by general manager Brandon Beane following coach Sean McDermott's admission that a better running game in 2021 was as a top priority.
The Bills not only locked in right tackle Daryl Williams and right guard Jon Feliciano with contract extensions and convinced center Mitch Morse to take a pay cut, but they landed guards Forrest Lamp and Jamil Douglas and tackle Bobby Hart from the free-agent market.
All bring at least a decent amount of starting experience.
The Bills also tendered restricted free agent Ike Boettger, who took over at left guard when Cody Ford landed on the injured reserve list.
Hart leads the way among the newcomers, starting 66 games over six seasons with the New York Giants and Cincinnati Bengals.
Douglas, a fourth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2015, has started 11 games and appeared in 46.
Their most recent addition, Lamp, played every offensive snap for the Los Angeles Chargers last season after injuries set him back the previous three years.
"It was a great feeling to know that I was able to come back after three years of being injured and having three surgeries in three years and the doubts that start to come in at times," Lamp told One Bills Live, "and ... it's frustrating, to say the least."
Lamp was part of a line that helped quarterback Justin Herbert become the NFL's offensive rookie of the year.
Although Lamp didn't sign with the Bills until the first week of April, he sensed early in free agency that Buffalo would be his landing spot."
"The Bills just seemed like the right fit," he said. "They're a winning team, a playoff team, and that's every player's dream to win a Super Bowl. Every guy can say that he wants to do, you know, a receiver could say `I want to catch a thousand balls and this and that,' but at the end of the day everybody wants to win a Super Bowl, and I think the Bills are really close to doing that."
The depth the Bills believe they have on the offensive line puts them in a more comfortable position heading to this year's NFL Draft, which is widely considered to have a good supply of talent at that position. So they definitely won't have to reach for one in any round.
Nevertheless, the Bills have been linked to some offensive linemen in various mock drafts. Guard Alijah Vera-Tucker of USC could interest them, according to Pro Football Focus. Others include Notre Dame tackle Liam Eichenberg, North Dakota State tackle Dillon Radunz, Michigan tackle Jalen Mayfield, Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins and Ohio State guard Wyatt Davis.
Whether they land any top offensive linemen in this draft shouldn't matter. The Bills expect to have a great offensive line in 2021 and for a good deal longer.