Bills draft Eric Wood to play guard

April, 25, 2009
4/25/09
7:44
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Eric Wood was a center at Louisville, but the Buffalo Bills intend to insert him at guard.

The Bills knocked on Wood with the No. 28 pick they received from the Philadelphia Eagles in the Jason Peters trade. Wood was considered the second-best center in the draft behind California's Alex Mack, who went No. 21 to the Cleveland Browns.

Bills coach Dick Jauron said the Bills will keep free-agent acquisition Geoff Hangartner, who also can play both positions, at center. The Bills allowed both of last year's centers Duke Preston and Melvin Fowler to walk via free agency.

"We see Hangartner as our center," Jauron said. "Eric will come in, we'll plug him in at guard and see how that goes.

"We're very optimistic about that. We really like his play, like his demeanor, like his toughness, like his intelligence. He gives us depth at two positions at the very least.

"We were kind of holding our breath when it came close to that pick and ultimately he got there."

Wood measured 6-foot-4 and 304 pounds at the combine. He started 49 straight games at center for Louisville, but he played guard in the Senior Bowl and said he has no qualms about switching for the Bills.

Many thought the Bills had to replace Peters, but they needed to rebuild the left side of their line. Not only did they trade their two-time Pro Bowl left tackle, but they also cut their high-priced left guard, Derrick Dockery.

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