Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nix: Hairston can start, but Bills need more tackles


Bills general manager Buddy Nix said it best: "We need tackles."

Nix addressed Buffalo's offensive tackle situation at the team's pre-draft luncheon Wednesday, explaining that while he believes Chris Hairston, who stepped in to start at left tackle the second half of the 2011 season because of injuries, is a capable protector, the Bills need to deepen their offensive line corps.

"I’m going to make this clear, we think Chris Hairston can play left tackle for us and win," Nix said. "... we run a lot of empty sets with five blockers, if they bring six (quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick) better get it out quick or he’s going to get hit in the mouth.

"In this offense he’s got to get it out quick. But Chris Hairston, he may not be the prettiest foot athlete but he’s got so much length that he can protect the back side. We feel like he can do that."

Hairston was selected in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. He saw action in 13 games and started seven.

"Now we’ve only got (Erik) Pears and Sam Young in coming off of knee surgery," Nix added about the team's depth at tackle. "That’s three tackles in the house. That’s not enough. We’d like to have two more."

Cue the draft.

“We did all these studies on left tackles and where they’re drafted and there’s a high percentage of them drafted in the top 10, left tackles,” Nix said. ”Other guys you find. Again don’t read into that, but most of the starters in this league that are Pro Bowlers were taken in the first eight or nine picks.”

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