The Buffalo Bills’ signing of former Dallas Cowboys guard Connor McGovern is a major move for the team’s offensive line. McGovern has been one of the most consistent offensive linemen in the NFL over the past few seasons. His addition to the Bills’ offensive line will have a significant impact on the team’s performance.
McGovern brings some experience to Buffalo’s line. He started in 15 games last season for the Cowboys and has 29 starts under his belt, appearing in a total of 45 games over the course of his career. His presence will provide the Bills with a reliable and experienced starter who can help anchor the line at several positions.
Over the last three seasons, most of his experience came at left guard, logging 1,240 snaps at that position. He’s pitched in 100 snaps at center and another 724 snaps at right guard. That’s the sort of versatility that offensive line coach Aaron Kromer will love. Many fans and analysts believe McGovern is a better right guard than left guard, but I didn’t see a material difference. Maybe he prefers it because that’s where he spent most of his time in college, but I didn’t see a difference on film or in the advanced stats to support that notion.
'22 LG – 2 Sacks, 7 QB hits, 14 Hurries, 1.9% Beat % (10 beats), 97.6 Pass blocking efficiency
'20 RG – 3 Sacks, 12 QB hits, 11 Hurries, 4.9% Beat % (18 beats), 97.4 Pass blocking efficiency
Beat = beaten but no pressure registered
I personally don't see a… https://t.co/q3JCauHiXj
— Cover 1 (@Cover1) March 14, 2023
How the Bills’ Signing of Connor McGovern Will Impact Their Offensive Line
McGovern is an excellent pass-blocker. He allowed just two sacks, seven quarterback hits, and 14 pressures last season which put him at a 97.6 pass-blocking efficiency rating per Pro Football Focus. That pass-blocking rating was better than any Bills guard last season. McGovern possesses a great combination of athleticism, hand usage, and the ability to stay level with his teammates on the field. His athleticism allows him to move quickly and change directions with ease, which is essential for an offensive lineman. McGovern also has excellent hand usage, allowing him to maintain leverage against opposing defensive linemen and control them at the line of scrimmage in the passing game. Additionally, his ability to stay level with his teammates enables him to pass or receive stunters and loopers when teams attempt to run games against him. These traits are highly coveted by the Bills and will undoubtedly make McGovern a valuable addition to their offensive line.
McGovern’s run blocking is average and an area that Kromer will help him improve in. He has the skills and technique to create rushing lanes for his running backs, he just needs to be more consistent with his technique and positional leverage to truly boost the run game. Defenders can get under him when zone blocking due to his height and pad level. At times, his feet can also get narrow when blocking, which contributes to shorter, stockier defensive tackles knocking him back or simply disengaging to make the tackle on the ballcarrier. McGovern also tends to stay too heavy on combo blocks, which limits his ability to get to the second level to pick up linebackers, which is a win for a defensive lineman because now his teammate can fly around and make tackles.
For a deeper dive into the strengths and weaknesses and those of other Free Agent pickups by general manager Brandon Beane, jump into The Film Room with Erik and Anthony to see all of these skills and traits in action: