Why the Slide?: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida

Our “Why the Slide” series parallels and grew out our “Why Undrafted” series. The latter was created a number of years ago in response to your questions about why certain well-known prospects went unselected in NFL drafts. For both series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. The positive response to “Why Undrafted” and questions from readers about why prospects were drafted lower than the media expectations led us to create the parallel series “Why the Slide?”

Both series are back this year. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.

During a lot of the leadup to the 2023 NFL Draft, Florida guard O’Cyrus Torrence was commonly projected to be a late first-rounder. Torrence started four seasons in college, with his first three years at La.-Lafayette before finishing his career as a Florida Gator. The massive Torrence played very well in the SEC, and many felt he was the top pure guard in the 2023 draft class. Late in the process, I moved Torrence from an early second-rounder to a late first-rounder. I had Torrence mocked to the Bills in Round 1, but Torrence ended up sliding to late in the second round before he was picked by Buffalo.

NFL team sources shared with WalterFootball.com that Torrence slipped for a few reasons. First, he had medical concerns that hurt him with multiple teams. Second, Torrence needs to improve his body and conditioning. Team sources said during the fall that Torrence had one of the worst bodies they’ve seen in recent years, so he will need to trim some fat and improve his conditioning for the next level. Players who have a combination bad body and medical concerns lead to teams wondering if the player will be able to stick in the NFL.

The Buffalo Bills ended Torrence’s fall in the second round, and the organization was a good landing spot for him. The Bills wanted to get bigger and tougher on the offensive line this offseason, so Torrence definitely will bring those attributes to their front. Torrence will start out competing for playing time with veteran guards like Ryan Bates and Connor McGovern. If Torrence improves his conditioning and stays healthy, he definitely could overtake one of those two for a starting job. Torrence has more size, power and intensity than those veterans. Buffalo made a ton of sense as a landing spot for Torrence, and he could be a perfect fit for the team.

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