Pros and cons of Buffalo Bills taking Florida football’s O'Cyrus Torrence in 2023 NFL Draft
Florida Gators offensive lineman O'Cyrus Torrence was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the NFL Draft.
Torrence was selected 59th overall. A projected first rounder, he slipped to the second round. The last Florida offensive lineman to go in the first round of the NFL Draft was D.J. Humphries, a tackle who went 24th overall to the Arizona Cardinals in the 2015 NFL Draft.
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A transfer from Louisiana, Torrence followed first-year Florida coach Billy Napier from the Rajun Cajuns to Gainesville and started 12 of 13 games at right guard for the Gators. Torrence was a consensus All-American offensive lineman in his lone season at Florida, becoming the first Florida offensive lineman to achieve the feat since Maurkice Pouncey in 2009.
Here's what Torrence brings to the NFL:
In 12 starts at right guard for the Gators, Torrence proved he could hold his own against opposing SEC defensive linemen. He led all college interior offensive lineman with an 88.0 grade, per Pro Football Focus, allowing only eight pressures the entire season.
"This guy played three years in the Sun Belt and then made the move to the SEC and proved himself this year," Napier said. "All the measurements are there, although he was a Group of Five player, he’s 6-5 335 pounds. Football comes easy to him, he’s really bright. He’s got great instincts."
After playing at 6-foot-5 and 347 pounds at Florida, Torrence slimmed down to 330 pounds during the pre-draft process in order to improve his athleticism. He also has tried to demonstrate to teams in workouts that he's versatile enough to play multiple positions on the line.
"I’ve played left guard, right guard and right tackle in games," Torrence said at UF's Pro Day. "I’ve practiced center, like in practice and stuff, never in the games. The only position I haven’t played is left tackle, but I’ve played left guard so it can’t be too much different. I feel like I have a lot of opportunity for where my team needs me.”
After dominating at the college level, NFL scouts wonder if Torrence can effectively mirror more athletic pass rushers in the pros and handle zone blocking schemes. There also are worries about Torrence's stamina and ability to block at the second level.
That's the main reason why Torrence dropped some weight during the pre-draft process.
"It’s gonna be some great players to play against," Torrence said. "It’s going to definitely be a challenge every week, even in practice. I don’t want to go in too cocky."
As the best interior college lineman in the country, Torrence has the potential to be a week one starter in the NFL as a rookie. He has the size, intelligence and work ethic to adapt quickly at the NFL level.