Buffalo added to their offensive line a third time in the 2012 NFL draft come round six. The Bills took Oregon OL Mark Asper. The scouting department likely found Asper's versatility attractive as offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris always looks to drill his linemen in several different positions during the season in practice.
Asper (6'6" 319) played mostly right tackle and guard for the Ducks high-octane offense, but saw time just about everywhere in his college career across the front.
"The first year I was there I was the swing tackle," he said. "So I played right side, left side, did everything. My sophomore I played guard all year. My junior year I played tackle all year. Then my senior year I was slotted to play tackle, but because of the personnel that we had they made a change and my coach asked me to move inside because they needed a bigger body and they wanted experience inside because our center was young. At the all-star game they wanted somebody to play center and I volunteered to do it."
And that's where the Bills intend to get him most of his work.
"We needed a center," said Bills GM Buddy Nix. "We've got Colin Brown playing there and we'd like not to wear him out and we wanted to get another center. This old boy is as big as a house. He can play center and guard. He's really a better player than people think. He's a smart guy. He should give us some help."
Asper served a two-year mission commitment prior to playing at Oregon and will be 27-years old this November. Married with two kids, Asper's teammates called him 'Papa'.
"I have two kids and I'm older than them and always would give them fatherly advice," said Asper. "Even though I didn't think it was important at the time, my teammates would come back to me and say, 'Thanks Pops I appreciate that.'"
The three-year starter relished the well-known up tempo pace of the Ducks offense feeling it effectively wore opposing defenses out each and every week.
"I loved it because of the advantage that it gave our team as the games wore on because we were so used to playing at that high tempo," said Asper. "As the third quarter and fourth quarter came on the other teams would be slowing down and dragging and were tired and we would just be hihtting our stride. It was great to play against guys when they were like that."
Asper takes pride in playing through the whistle in the run game, something the Oregon coaching staff charts throughout the season.
"I do a good job getting on blocks and staying on blocks," he said. "We kept track at the University of Oregon of what we called finished blocks. When you do that you are on the guy that you're supposed to block when the whistle blows. I had the most on the offensive line by 20. I had 20 more the next closest guy. That's something I pride myself on is the finish phase of blocking."