The Bills had two picks on Day 2 of the draft and decided to go offense in round two and defense in round three. Offensive guard O’Cyrus Torrence out of Florida was selected by Buffalo with the 59th overall pick and Tulane linebacker Dorian Williams was drafted by the Bills with the 91st pick.
"O'Cyrus was the highest guy on the board," Beane explained. "Those are the easy ones. When we were coming to the next pick on defense (No. 91), it was getting close to where it could have been offense, too but offense was taken a certain number of picks before. He (Dorian Williams) was the highest guy on the board."
For now, Buffalo has just two picks left on Day three – No. 137 (5th round) and No. 205 (6th round). Beane said he did field calls as they were approaching their third-round pick to possibly trade back to acquire more picks but ultimately chose to stay put.
"As it was getting close, we had several teams that were interested in the pick, but all of them, we were going to have to drop too far," Beane shared. "And we just felt our board could get cleaned out to where we'd be picking too low for giving up a player of Dorian's caliber."
A BIG MAN UP FRONT
Torrence, 6-5 and 330 pounds, never gave up a sack in his collegiate career at University of Louisiana and University of Florida. One reason why he was able to do so is because of his sheer size. The offensive lineman has incredible strength and makes it hard for anyone to get past him.
"He's a big man," Beane said describing his newest offensive lineman. "Size matters up in there when you're facing some of those guys, and we've got some really good D-tackles in this division. So having a guy who can anchor versus power, that's probably what he does best. And he's got length to get on guys and hold them off."
In addition to his size, Torrence has powerful hands that are 11 ¼ inches. He pairs the strength of his hands with his feet to move defenders out of the way with ease. The OG played in 48 games and started in 47 during his four years in college. He believes his transition to playing SEC football will help him develop in the pros.
"Just the strength and the size of some of the guys in the SEC," Torrence said of why the SEC made him a better player. "I feel like just the repetition I was able to get against those guys really helped me out a lot, and definitely I'm gonna benefit from that in the next part of my journey."
In his new journey with Buffalo, Torrence is looking forward to blocking for his new QB.
"The first thing that came to mind was blocking for Josh Allen," The Florida product said of what he's most excited about. "I mean what offensive lineman don't wanna do this?"
HOPING THAT BUFFALO WOULD BE THE TEAM
Torrence had multiple meetings with the Bills during the pre-draft process as he met with them at the Senior Bowl, combine and got to visit Buffalo on a rookie visit. These meetings were the makings of a relationship that Torrence wanted to last. The offensive lineman got very familiar with the Bills during the months leading up to the draft and ending up there just like it was meant to be.
"When I got the call, it just felt right," Torrence said. "I didn't know it was Buffalo at the time when I answered it. They said it was Buffalo, and that's when my heart started beating real fast. And I was like, 'This is it. I'm officially gonna be a Bill, be part of Bills Mafia'."
It was easy to see how excited Torrence was to be drafted by the Bills as he sported a huge smile during his first press conference with local media. Torrence said his meeting with Sean McDermott and Beane during his 30 visit was his favorite interaction with the team.
"There was just a lot of meeting with the coaches and just getting a feel for like the environment and the culture that they're building over there," Torrence said. "So, we definitely built a good relationship in this process, and I was a little shocked – not shocked when they called, but excited – it wasn't too much of a shock because we had a great relationship throughout this whole process."
Torrence is also excited about joining a team who has a great culture.
"It felt natural for him and for us," Beane said of their connection. "I always follow up with the people that deal with them besides me, and I know the coaches really enjoyed him and thought, 'He's going to come in here, this is how we would use him, and this is what we would do.'"
WHERE TORRENCE FITS ON THE LINE
The Bills added a few offensive linemen to the team via free agency in Connor McGovern and David Edwards, so Torrence is entering a room that will have some great competition. He played 34 games at right guard and 13 at left guard in college. Beane doesn't know what side he will play on yet but sees him playing on the inside.
"I think we'll start him at guard," Beane said. "If he proves and wants to do that, that he can go out there but right now I would see his best chance to help us would probably be inside."
Torrence agreed and said he sees himself playing on the interior but would be happy to move to tackle if asked. Wherever he ends up, he believes he fits well with this offense.
"I feel like my game, just the aggression of how I play, coming off the ball, my explosiveness and the speed coming off, and seeing how this offense is – the variety of the offense, the range is a lot, so I feel like I'm gonna fit in pretty well with that," Torrence said. "Being able to pass block, pass protect pretty well. I'm a good pass blocker, I feel like. And still also, with just the guys who I'm gonna be around, I feel like are gonna help my game, to the guys playing next to me, the guys I'm blocking for, I feel like are gonna just help me play even better, just raise my ceiling even higher."
The OG earned his way into a starting spot at Florida after starting off as a third stringer once he transferred. Beane said just like at Florida, no starting spots will be handed out.
"He'll have to come in here and earn the role, we're not going to give him anything," Beane said.
When it comes to earning playing time, Torrence does have some familiarity with Buffalo's style of offense. The Florida product blocked for a mobile quarterback in Anthony Richardson at UF. This experience could help Torrence adjust more quickly to the NFL and Buffalo's offense.
"He's been around it and he knows that the ball's not necessarily coming out as soon as the quarterback's back foot hits his back step," Beane said. "You got to stay on your guys, you got to keep blocking. And obviously they did that at Florida, and we know Josh Allen loves to extend plays. And so, the same thing will definitely be asked here."
DEFENSE IN THE THIRD ROUND
Williams, 6-1 and 228 pounds, was a team captain at Tulane and helped his team go from 2-10 in 2021 to 12-2 in 2022. His production on the field was a big reason why their program was able to flip the script in just one season. The LB totaled 131 tackles, five sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and nine passes defensed in his final season with the Green Wave.
When he got the call that told him he would be an NFL player, Williams was excited to hear that it was Buffalo on the other end.
"(My) heart is racing, you've been waiting a long time for that call," Williams said. "It felt like you're waiting forever. It was an amazing feeling to see Buffalo Bills pop up on there. Amazing fan base, it's an amazing feeling."
A TACKLING MACHINE
The LB ran a 4.49 40-yard-dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and that speed shows up on tape. Williams is an athletic and physical linebacker who showcases burst and fluidity in the way he operates on the field.
"I feel like my play on the field, I feel like the film speaks for itself," Williams shared. "Going sideline to sideline, making plays in coverage, getting guys on the ground, getting the ball back for our offense and that's what it is all about."
In four seasons at Tulane, Williams totaled 311 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, nine and a half sacks, 15 passes defensed, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
"He's a tackling machine," Beane said. "He's very athletic. I'm not going to say he's going come in here and start but at a minimum, I see this guy earning a jersey."
Beane envisions him playing outside linebacker to start his career in Buffalo.
"We'll start him outside and we'll see," Beane said of where Williams will play. "We try to make these guys somewhat interchangeable. This is going to be a much more complex system. Some of these guys come from more complex systems. I would say this is a simpler system that he's coming from just what we know about him."
If asked to play special teams, Williams said he'll do anything to help the team win.
"Special teams is a big role of us at Tulane and we put our guys out there on special teams," Williams said. "So it was always a big part of the game that a lot of people overlook. And I'm happy to get out there and run down there and plant, hold guys up on punt block. I'm ready to do whatever it takes to win."
"Matt Smiley (special teams coordinator) is going to be excited to add him to the group to get a jersey and then we'll see what kind of play time he earns this year," Beane shared. "That could be a guy that's a backup for us this year if he doesn't earn a starting role and potentially down the road add a starting role."
Williams loves the physicality the Bills play with on defense and can't wait to learn from one of the best on the Bills roster in Matt Milano.
"I love how versatile he is as a player," Williams shared. "I love how he uses his hands to get off blocks. I love how he plays sideline to sideline and how he does in coverage as well. I would love to learn from him, learn the way he plays and just certain things you look for on film as well."