Following the wave of early rookie signings that we'll enjoy under the new collective bargaining agreement, today the Buffalo Bills signed second-round pick offensive lineman Cordy Glenn to a contract. The team's belief in Glenn's ability to play left tackle, a position he only took up in his senior season at Georgia, could make him one of the best values of the draft.
Left tackle, along with quarterback, edge pass rusher, and man-to-man corner is a position that makes the passing game go in a league that continues to become more pass-centric. Because of this, any player that projects well at the position sees his draft stock inflate because of supply and demand. The size, arm length, and movement skills that left tackle demands are hard to find in one package. This was seen in practice during the 2012 draft, as only Matt Kalil, clearly a true left tackle, was the only tackle to go in the top 20 picks.
Draftniks were split on Glenn's ability to play left tackle in the pros, with most such as NFL Network's Mike Mayock saying his best NFL position was not left tackle. Cordy Glenn had been a guard before 2012, but his play at left tackle improved as the season went on, so a few of us made up a vocal minority that felt Glenn projected just fine as a left tackle at the next level.
Bills beat writer Joe Buscaglia reported that the Bills were in that minority before the draft, which led to speculation that Glenn could be their pick at number 10. That is in line with a left tackle prospect that projects as a quality starter. GM Buddy Nix even tried to start a rumor that Glenn was a guard, not a tackle, according to Buffalo news columnist Jerry Sullivan.
The rumor must have worked, because not only did Glenn not go tenth overall, he didn't even go in the first round. The player Bills national scout Darrell Moody compared to Marcus McNeill fell to the Bills in the second round, much to the shock (and happiness) of Nix and Bills head coach Chan Gailey.
Glenn lined up exclusively at left tackle in the team's mini camp according to Chris Brown from the team's official website. If he works out, the team will be rewarded handsomely for seeing the left tackle in Glenn when other teams were coming up with reasons that he couldn't play that position for them.