Nick O'Leary will look to remain a valuable offensive weapon in his jump from Florida State to the NFL.
When Greg Roman was hired as Buffalo's offensive coordinator, a multitude of roster alterations followed, confirming that there will be a changed offensive philosophy. An essential part to Roman's offense is the significant utilization of multiple tight ends, as evidenced by his time in San Francisco that featured both Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker. Buffalo's personnel department is well aware that depth must be added at the position.
"Greg Roman is a big tight end guy," said GM Doug Whaley. "He likes to use three to four tight ends so we're going to have to add some."
While Whaley's comments came before the signing of Charles Clay, many still believe that Buffalo will add another tight end in the upcoming draft. Knowing Buffalo coveted Clay's unique versatility, one can expect the Bills to select a player who offers a similar skill set. Florida State tight end Nick O'Leary is a multi-dimensional player who could potentially fill a role within the offense.
The three-year starter totaled 114 career receptions and was named an AP First Team All-American as a senior. As a junior he led all Division I tight ends in yards per catch (16.9), while also performing a vital role in the Seminoles national championship run. Throughout his career, O'Leary was used all over the field and proved to be a trusted target for both E.J Manuel and Jameis Winston.
Projecting to the next level, his size and lack of speed (4.93 40-time) have analysts, like ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr, slating him as an H-back.
The confident O'Leary believes his route running skills and overall ability compare him well to other draft eligible tight ends.
"I feel like I can do it all," said O'Leary. "People say my route running is not that good. I feel like it is. I feel like I run better routes than a lot of them, and I think I have better hands. There are a lot of guys at Florida State who weren't able to cover me."
O'Leary is recognized as a smart, technically sound run blocker and pass protector, areas he improved immensely while at Florida State. He demonstrated extreme determination throughout the duration of his last game as a Seminole, as he played in the Rose Bowl despite a grade one hamstring tear suffered in warm-ups. His college head coach Jimbo Fisher suggests that O'Leary's strong bloodlines may be a reason for his unteachable qualities.
"Nick is an ultimate competitor as his grandfather was," said Fisher. "Nick's dad (Bill) was a heck of a football player, too, at Georgia. His mom (Nan) was a volleyball player at Georgia. He comes from a competitive family."
Nick's grandfather happens to be golf legend and 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus. O'Leary, a golfer himself, says that he remains in close contact with Nicklaus.
"We talk a lot," said O'Leary. "It's all about carrying yourself. We talk as grandfather to grandson."
In what has been viewed as a relatively weak tight end draft class, O'Leary has been projected between the third and fifth round. The Bills are currently without a fourth round selection as the pick was traded to Cleveland last April in part of the trade that allowed Buffalo to move up in the first round and select WR Sammy Watkins.