Jim Ritcher enjoyed a 14 year career with the Buffalo Bills. He played in all four Super Bowls with the team at guard and made the Pro Bowl twice. In 2004, the Bills added Ritcher to their Wall of Fame. Ritcher, a first round pick in 1980, had a tremendous career with the Bills.
Fast forward to 2016 and there’s another Ritcher available in the draft. Nick Ritcher, Jim’s youngest son, won’t be a first round pick like his father, but he has a legitimate chance to get selected late in the 2016 draft.
Ritcher, 6’5” and 304 lbs., played his college ball at Richmond and looking to get drafted as an offensive tackle. At Richmond, Ritcher contributed as a true freshman in 2011, starting two games and appearing in seven total games.
As a sophomore, Ritcher started every game (11) at right tackle for the Spiders. The Colonial Athletic Association named Ritcher a third-team All-CAA member at the conclusion of the season. In 2013, Ritcher only played in two games before suffering a season ending injury.
Last year, Ritcher returned to the field and once again started in all 11 games with Richmond. This season, Ritcher saved the best for last. Ritcher dominated on the field and earned First Team CAA All-Conference honors. The Spiders ran for 2,673 total yards behind Ritcher and the offensive line. At the conclusion of the season, he earned quite a few honors for his play. Ritcher was named an American Football Coaches Association All-American, an AP FCS First-Team All-American, and a STATS Third-Team All American.
Now, the next step for Ritcher is the NFL draft. Currently, he’s being projected anywhere from the fifth to seventh round. This could certainly be a time where the Bills look to add an offensive lineman.
Currently, the team is looking to lockup left tackle Cordy Glenn and left guard Richie Incognito. This duo is among the team’s top priorities in free agency and it would be a bit of a surprise if both players didn’t return. Next to the duo, the Bills have Eric Wood at center and John Miller at right guard. The biggest question mark is at right tackle.
Seantrel Henderson missed the final five games of the 2015 season after reportedly being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. In his place, Jordan Mills, a restricted free agent, started in his place. Behind Henderson and Mills is Cyrus Kouandjio, a former second round pick. None of the trio seem like the answer at right tackle but it’s unlikely that the Bills invest a high draft pick in position or pursue a player in free agency due to their cap situation.
Late in the draft, the Bills may look for a player with upside that they can develop to eventually compete for the job. Perhaps, that player will be Ritcher. The Bills already know he comes from good NFL bloodlines.