With the top four offensive tackles off the board in the first 23 selections some might have thought that the Bills were forced to go in another direction, but Buffalo had their eyes focused solely on the interior of their offensive line and Louisville center Eric Wood was the target.
"We were hoping he would get there," said Bills Vice President of College Scouting Tom Modrak. "When you're in there and you want a player and you're three or four away from it you just think he's never going to get to you. Fortunately for us it worked."
Buffalo sees some versatility in Wood believing he could also play guard, and that's where they plan to put the 6'4" lineman.
"Eric is a center-guard," said head coach Dick Jauron. "In free agency we went out and got Geoff Hangartner who we see as our center. So Eric will come in and we'll plug him in at guard."
Wood has played the majority of the last two seasons at center, but has played guard in his career and made a seamless transition to guard at the Senior Bowl. Known as a highly intelligent player, Wood is a leading candidate for the Bills vacant left guard position.
"We're very optimistic about him," said Jauron. "I really like his demeanor and his toughness and intelligence. He gives us depth at two positions at the very least because he has played center and we believe he can play guard."
Labeled one of the most prepared players in the country, Wood devours game film.
"I'm going to put the work in and I'm going to prepare my body and mind for each game when I step on the field," said Wood. "I want to know what everybody is doing on the offense at all times and that control helps you become as aware as you possibly can to be the best player you can be."
The Louisville product knew that guard was a possible option for him at the NFL level and with prototype height for the position he feels comfortable in making the move.
"With the size I have I knew that guard was going to be an option for me," said Wood. "At the Senior Bowl I knew I just had to prove against some really good competition that I could play there and that's what I did. I'm just ready to come in and compete."
Wood is known as a finisher and had over 180 knockdown blocks over his final two seasons.
"He's a strong kid and a tough kid and he's very, very competitive," said Modrak. "He's one of those guys that tries to finish and pin people. He's a very smart kid. He really, really likes playing the game. He has a lot of good ingredients to be a real good player."
"It's all about flipping the switch when you go out on the field," said Wood. "You can do things on the football field that are severely illegal on the streets. I just kind of flip that switch and try to take it to people on the field. I'm a finisher. The fun part is knocking people down and punishing the guy you're going against. That's the joy of football to me."