Barring the use of advanced analytics, it’s difficult to quantify offensive linemen. But the numbers speak for itself when evaluating the Buffalo Bulls’ unit in 2019 and 2020.
Anchored by offensive tackle Kayode Awosika, Buffalo forcefully dominated opponents in the trenches in every facet of the game. Whether blocking for the run or protecting the quarterback, the Bulls fielded an elite unit on every snap.
In the ground game, Awosika led the charge for a rushing offense which produced 287.1 yards per game (third in FBS) and 4.6 touchdowns per game (first in FBS) in 2020. He assisted All-American running back Jaret Patterson in producing the nation’s highest rushing yards per game average, paving the way for 301 and 409-yard performances by Patterson in back-to-back weeks. The star running back eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark in all three years Awosika started on the offensive line. Patterson managed 19 rushing touchdowns in 2019 and matched that number in six games in 2020 while operating behind the two-time All-MAC tackle.
Jaret Patterson/RB/Buffalo compiled 710 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns over a two week span in 2020, but I become more impressed w/ LT Kayode Awosika (73) the more I watch. pic.twitter.com/PlU9SsAL2k— Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) January 28, 2021
Nice rep from Buffalo LT Kayode Awosika. Reaches him, turns him, clears him. pic.twitter.com/kqMjSs4nkH— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) November 18, 2020
No matter which running back lined up behind Buffalo’s line, they were destined to succeed. Awosika also bolstered Kevin Marks, the other tailback in the Bulls’ one-two punch. Marks surpassed 1,000 yards in 2019 and averaged over 100 yards per game in 2020. Even in Patterson’s absence in the Camellia Bowl, Buffalo’s offensive line guided Marks to 138 yards and a touchdown to conclude the 2020 season and lift the program into the final AP Poll for the first time in history.
KAYODE AWOSIKA (#73) ALERT! pic.twitter.com/sIXNs8cL4p— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) November 28, 2020
Awosika brings more to the table than just run blocking. In his last 15 games in college, the offensive line allowed a mere two sacks. Buffalo’s offensive line ranked first in the country in fewest sacks yielded in 2020 and ranked second in the category in 2019. In between those two seasons, three starters on the offensive line were replaced and Awosika remained as one of two constants.
Kayode Awosika (@Alwaysimprovin1) is a really talented RT. Could end up moving inside at the next level. Great footwork and overall athelticsm. His Penn State tape was very impressive. He has the chance to be the first player in the MAC drafted next year. #NFLDraft #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/DM5IkFaP3I— Jack Borowsky (@Jack_Borowsky) July 3, 2020
The 6’3”, 307 pound prospect jumped into the starting lineup in 2018 as a right tackle. He functioned in that role for two seasons before replacing departed senior Evin Ksiezarczyk as the left tackle in 2020. The results remained the same, however, and Awosika garnered all-conference accolades both opposite ends of the line. He additionally drew praise on a national level, obtaining FWAA Second Team All-American honors to finish a successful college career.
Prior to the NFL Draft, Awosika earned opportunities to showcase his talent for scouts as an NFL Combine invitee and as a participant in the East-West Shrine Game.
With arms measured at 32 5⁄8 inches, Awosika thrives as a power blocker. He displays a strong set of hands and is adept at driving the feet even after meeting resistance at the line of scrimmage. Awosika plays with his head on a swivel. He quickly moves to the second-level and finishes every manageable block before the whistle blows. His game can further develop if he improves his technique. Specifically, working on range of motion in the lower body can allow him to cover more ground and serve as a more effective pass protector. Overall, his skillset is adaptable to both guard positions as well, so he presents a coveted degree of versatility.
Buffalo LT Kayode Awosika— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) November 18, 2020
This is a white towel block... DE straight surrendering pic.twitter.com/HM5qYHCgUH
Awosika is a likely day three prospect, ranging from rounds 5-7. His ideal fit is a team that is more dependent on the run, as Buffalo’s offense was heavily predicated in that department. Awosika was the best run blocker in the MAC in each of the past two seasons, and he’ll be properly rewarded for it with an NFL contract in the near future.