Dukes of Awesome

Demetrius Bell, Plugging Holes, Grading Roads by errantremark

We Dukes have been trying to figure out what Russ, Dick and Turk have in mind for filling Jason Peters’ spot since his trade to the Eagles. With the draft in the books, that picture is getting a bit clearer.

For 2009, we have Hangartner holding down center, Brad Butler/Andrew Levitre/Eric Wood at the guard positions in some order, Kirk Chambers/Seth McKinney at right tackle, and Langston Walker at the left tackle spot. (Sorry, Brian, but I don’t think two rookies start on either side of Hangartner this year).

That’s not an awful line, really – true, there aren’t any Pro Bowler’s on that lineup right now, but Wood & Levitre (or does Wood come after Levitre?) project as potential starters, Hangartner’s a good mentor, and Walker got the job done at left tackle to start the season last year. But at the same time, with so many linemen playing out of position, it might take some time to coalesce.

The real X-factor for a potential all-world Bills offensive line is our favorite spawn of Karl Malone: Demetrius Bell.

Last year’s 219th pick was a healthy scratch in all of last year’s games – he didn’t play a single down in a single game, yet the Bills kept him on the roster. And it might prove to be one of the shrewdest moves the Bills have done since converting Jason Peters – Bell is every bit the physical beast Peters was, albeit in a much more raw package.

But in his second year, Bell might be making the steps to become a big-time offensive lineman – at 6’5″, 300+, it won’t take much to make him simply serviceable, but he has the upside to grow into the lineman we always thought Peters would be (only less of a diva).

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