ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills turned their attention to addressing offensive needs in a big way by selecting mammoth Georgia offensive lineman Cordy Glenn in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday.
Picked 41st overall, the 6-foot-5, 348-pound player spent most of his first three seasons at guard before making the switch to tackle as a senior. And that's where the Bills project him to compete for a starting job after losing Demetress Bell to free agency.
In four seasons, Glenn had 50 starts, including 18 at left tackle, in 53 career games.
Though some scouts project Glenn to be best suited to play guard at the NFL level, he worked at left tackle at this past year's Senior Bowl.
The Bills, coming off a 6-10 season, have eight picks left, including a third-rounder, 71st overall.
Buffalo opened the draft Thursday by selecting South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore with the 10th pick. The Bills also spent last month improving their pass rush by signing defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson in free agency.
The focus now turned to improving the offensive line, which was regarded as a key need for the team.
Prior to the draft, there was speculation that the Bills were so interested in Glenn that they would consider taking him in the first round. The wait proved worth it.
Glenn was part of a Bulldogs offense that averaged 244.5 yards passing and 408.5 yards offense last season. For his career, he was credited with registering 63 blocks that resulted in touchdowns.
Despite his big size, Glenn is both quick and agile. He also has a long reach, which is something the Bills front office previously said it prefers in left tackles because of their ability to push pass rushers further outside and away from the pocket.
The Bills were among the least-sacked teams in allowing just 22 last season. But they entered this draft with only three tackles on their roster. That included Chris Hairston, a fourth-round pick last year, who had seven starts at left tackle last season.
Despite losing eight of their final nine games and missing the playoffs for a 12th straight season, the Bills offense showed considerable signs of progress last year. Buffalo finished with 5,624 yards offense, the first time they broke 5,000 in nine years, and the most since 1992.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had an up-and-down season, with his drop in production coinciding with a heavy hit to the chest he took in a 23-0 win over Washington on Oct. 30. Despite finishing with 24 touchdowns and 23 interceptions (16 in the final nine games), his TD total and 3,832 yards passing were the most by a Bills player since Drew Bledsoe in 2002.
And that rise in production came despite an offense that opened the season with what was essentially a no-name group of receivers after Buffalo traded Lee Evans to Baltimore in August.