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Offensive Line Greats At Buffalo

https://library.buffalo.edu/ub-sports/mens-sports/football/1950-buffalo-bulls-football/

It's hard to look at a set of stats if you want to gauge how good an offensive lineman is. While there are now some stats that can be used they are mostly subjective, narrowly used, and not at all historical.

Perhaps the best measure of how good a college lineman is would be “People who get paid to find the good ones put them on a professional team”.

If that’s the measure Buffalo has a decent history of guys in the trenches doing their thing and clearing the way for running backs.

The first Bull ever drafted was offensive tackle Les Molnar. Molnar was selected by the New York Yankees with the 206th overall pick. Shortly after the draft, the team relocated to Dallas and was renamed the Texans. While he didn’t stick on the Texans’ roster he did get UB’s foot in the door.

Buffalo’s second-ever draft pick In 1958, Frank Woidzik became the second UB player drafted when he was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth round. Like Molnar he didn’t make the roster.

The next year Lou Reale, the team's Center, was a late-round draft pick for the Giants.

The shuttering of UB’s football program in 1970 and the years it took to rebuild put Buffalo out of the draft until 1997 when Ed Ellis ended the drought when he was taken in the fourth round (125th) by the New England Patriots. An offensive tackle, Ellis would have a productive NFL career.

Jamey Richard was the first D1A (FBS) UB offensive lineman picked in 2007 when the Indianapolis Colts snatched him up in the seventh round. Richard had a nice stint with the Colts, getting his first NFL start on September 7, 2008, and Richard was named to PFW’s All-Rookie team for his role on the interior offensive line for the Colts.

The last UB offensive lineman drafted was actually a Buffalo defensive lineman. After years on the DL for Buffalo, Kristjan Sokoli was selected by the Seattle Seahawks as an offensive guard in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Sokoli’s career lasted four seasons.

What about the CFL Draft?

Since 2016 three Buffalo linemen have been taken in the CFL draft, they are Dillon Guy, Tomas Jack-Kurdyla, and Roubbens Joseph.

Who’s next?

This year's offensive line is pretty young, but there are a couple of grad transfers to keep an eye on. Desmond Bessent and Sidney Walker are not high up on draft boards right now but both started for stints at their previous school so they may get the time on the field this year to try and break in the draft.

Gabe Wallace is a Junior from Canada and a consistent lineman for Buffalo which is at the very least going to put him on the CFL radar in 2024.