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Andy Levitre's pass-blocking skills will be missed in 2013.
Since Ryan Nassib is slow, he will need a clean pocket to survive in the NFL. There should be genuine concern for how well Nassib could play behind the current Bills offensive line—based on the returning veterans that remain on the roster.
The Bills lost their best pass-protector in Andy Levitre, which is an important point to consider when evaluating who is the right quarterback for the Bills to draft.
Let's examine how the Bills offensive line was ranked in 2012 by Pro Football Focus, (subscription required) along with their overall grades and pass protection scores.
T Cordy Glenn: 827 snaps, ranked No. 33 out of all NFL tackles, overall grade of 6.6 and a pass-blocking grade of 3.2. Gave up six quarterback sacks, nine quarterback hits and 17 quarterback hurries.
T Chris Hairston: 583 snaps, ranked No. 36 out of all NFL tackles, overall grade of 5.3 and a pass-blocking grade of 1.5. Allowed two sacks, four quarterback hits and 16 hurries.
T Erik Pears: 385 snaps, ranked No. 62 out of all NFL tackles, overall grade of a minus 7.3 and a pass-blocking grade of 0.4. Gave up three sacks, seven hits and four hurries.
G Kraig Urbik: 806 snaps, ranked No. 25 out of all NFL guards, overall grade of 7.3, with a pass-blocking grade of 7.6. Gave up two sacks, one hit and nine hurries.
C Eric Wood: 896 snaps, ranked No. 25 out of all NFL centers, overall grade of minus 0.8 and a pass-blocking grade of 3.5. Allowed two sacks, three hits and four hurries.
Read 'em and weep. Andy Levitre's scores from 2012. Ranked No. 9 out of all NFL guards, overall grade of 17.3 and a pass-blocking grade of 15.7. Gave up one sack, three hits and seven hurries. He will be missed.
So, there you have the rundown. The young tackles were learning on the job in 2012, and will hopefully continue to improve. Pears is a liability in pass protection and Wood has room to improve his grades. The sack totals were reasonable because Fitzpatrick got rid of the ball as fast as any quarterback in the NFL. How quickly Marrone and Hackett will require the new quarterback to release the ball remains to be seen.
If Nassib is forced to run around to extend plays, they would have a low probability for success based on what we have seen on tape.