Bills Roster Analysis: Lofton Exercise | Offensive Line


After looking at the 2018 Buffalo Bills’ defensive line, linebackers, and defensive backs, we’ll start to look at the offense with the offensive line. By this time, you should know the Lofton exercise. players are ranked according to three different groups: 1.) Can win games for us, 2.) can win with him, or 3.) need better. In the end, it’ll give us a general outlook of how talented the Bills’ roster is at this point in “the process”.

The Bills’ offense was a historically bad unit for much of the 2018 season. However, everything changed after Josh Allen came back from his injury. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll adjusted his scheme, and the team decided to move on from unproductive veterans and give the young guys a shot. The offensive line had its challenges throughout the season, and here’s how the Cover 1 team ranks this personnel going forward:

Dion Dawkins – LT

Can win games for us: 3 votes

Can win with him: 1 vote (Fernando Schmude)

After a very promising rookie year handling the left tackle job and making steady veteran Cordy Glenn expendable, Dawkins fell down to earth a bit in 2018. Losing Richie Incognito on his side certainly played a big role in his less than ideal 2018 season but, after playing so well as a rookie, I think it was fair to expect at least some improvement last season.

In 638 pass blocking snaps, Dawkins allowed seven sacks, two QB hits, and 25 QB hurries, according to Pro Football Focus. They gave him a 76.3 pass blocking grade but just a 58.9 run blocking grade. His 69.5 overall grade was the best in the OL group and second best on the entire offense. Dawkins is a crucial piece moving forward for the Bills.

Wyatt Teller – LG

Can win with him: 4 votes

Despite starting the season behind the veteran Vlad Ducasse and needing half of the year to earn the opportunity with the starters, the rookie out of Virginia Tech did enough to make the Cover 1 team confident in his abilities. Teller needs to keep growing, but his strength and nastiness make him an interesting option at the LG spot.

In 273 pass blocking snaps, the rookie earned a 78.3 PFF pass blocking grade, second best on the team behind Ducasse (79.0). Teller allowed just two QB hits and six hurries, not allowing a single sack. In the running game he was less efficient, receiving a 49.0 run blocking grade.

His 56.1 overall grade was the fourth best on the OL group, behind Dawkins, John Miller (64.3), and Russell Bodine (61.6). With all of the upgrades Buffalo needs to make at this group, it’s fair to expect Teller to keep the starting LG spot next season, especially if he can take advantage of his first NFL offseason and come back better prepared for the pro game.

John Miller – RG

Can win with him: 1 vote (Greg Tompsett)

Need better: 3 votes

Miller was the last offensive lineman to earn a vote in one of the two top groups, with Greg still believing Bills can win with him, I can see why.

Despite his struggles and some really awful snaps standing out here and there, Miller was the second-best offensive lineman on the team in 2018, according to PFF,  earning a 64.3 overall grade. Just like the vast majority of his counterparts, Miller did better in the pass blocking department, allowing just one sack, five QB hits, and 24 QB hurries in 529 pass blocking snaps, good for a 71.4 pass blocking grade.

At this point in his career, it’s fair to assume Miller is what he is — a solid pass blocking guard who struggles in the running game (56.8 PFF run blocking grade) and that’s why the majority of us believe the Bills need better.

“We need better” group:

RT Jordan Mills, C Russell Bodine, C Ryan Groy, G Vlad Ducasse, T Jeremiah Sirles, T Conor McDermott, G Ike Boettger.

None of these players received any votes for the top two tiers, which says a lot about them. They’re clearly backup-level players whom the Bills need to replace and upgrade. The running game in 2018 was nonexistent, thanks a lot to the lack of productivity of these guys.


This unit needs a reshuffle. Dawkins and Teller have quality and potential, and Miller might be useful in some situations, but other than that, Buffalo will be better served finding new players in free agency and the Draft. An improved offensive line can be the key to the Bills’ offensive resurgence in 2019.

*Mandatory Photo Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports