The game is won in the trenches...I do believe that addage and think a team should always be looking to improve the OL and DL.
However, we could do a lot worse than the line we had last year. Signing Groy back was huge. When Wood went down last year, I thought
the Bills were in real trouble. But, Groy filled in admirably. So, not only is he very solid depth to the interior 3, he may also be Eric's eventual
replacement. Miller is still growing, but has played solid enough. And if paired with a better RT might improve significantly. I'm not sure what
Ducasse brings, but he has experience and familiarity at least. I think Richie has at least two more seasons in him, so next year is early enough
to start looking for his eventual replacement. So, the interior is solid and does not need draft help.
Cordy is a very good LT, maybe not top tier, but gets the job done. Mills was improving last year and on the O-line, continuity can not be dismissed. But, yes, upgrading Mills would improve the line significantly. If nothing else, though, we know we'll get at least what we got last year out of this group. The bigger question for this line really is Seantrel and Cyrus. Henderson will miss the first 4 due to suspension, but more importantly, what is his health situation. Is it under control and can he compete for the starting role once he's back? Or are we going to move on? What is up with Cyrus's hip? He seemed to be improving last year, but will the hip set him back again? Will he be ready for the season? Can he compete for the RT job?
If the team feels good about Cyrus and Henderson, then the O-line is pretty solid and with good, experienced depth.
So, I think you only go O-line in the draft if at some point a tackle is the highest player on your board by a good margin. Or maybe you pick up a Tackle prospect in the mid- to later-rounds, depending on value . If you do not expect one or both of those guys to be ready to go and compete for the starting job, then taking a tackle is a little more pressing a need and you might spend a day two or three pick on a guy, if he has value there, for at least depth, but with the hopes of unseating Mills eventually.
So, I don't think you go into the draft ignoring O-line, but the key is to not be in a place that you have to pick a certain position of need. And the team seems to be in that place with the O-line. They just need to decide if the swing tackle/better RT is currently on the team or not. If not, you keep your eyes open, but you do not need to reach. RT is a need, but not a necessity this year, unless Seantrel and Cyrus were both out. And even then, you might still be able to find a decent swing tackle for depth in FA or after June cuts. Mills would still be starting then, but we wouldn't be in trouble, we just wouldn't be significantly improved from last season maybe.
Also, not that we've had bad O-line coaches the past handful of years, but Juan Castillo is supposed to be very good. Maybe he can help to raise the play of some of the younger guys (Miller, Mills, Cyrus, Seantrel). Also, Dennison's (i.e. Kubiak's) system runs a zone blocking scheme which is supposed to be O-linemen friendly, so maybe that makes a difference too.
Edited by folz, 09 April 2017 - 01:26 PM.