Tackle needy teams could provide trade options in the NFL Draft

4/3/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

I've now mentioned eight teams in the top-12 that could draft an offensive tackle, and I'd say six of them will be legitimately targeting a player at that position. Here lies the problem: outside of Joeckel, Fisher, and Johnson, the next best tackle (according to most people) is DJ Fluker, who profiles as strictly a right tackle (valued less by NFL teams) and is ranked 21st by Scouts Inc. The next best tackle, according to Scouts Inc., is Menelik Watson, who isn't even ranked in their top-32.

With a top-heavy class of tackles, and an abundance of teams who need offensive linemen, there is a decent chance that one of these teams will trade up to bolster their offensive line.
Blog Photo - Tackle needy teams could provide trade options in the NFL Draft
The team to jump may be the Lions. With Johnson's stock on the rise, fifth overall may be the latest he'll go if the Chiefs and Jaguars select Joeckel and Fisher. A team like the Cardinals could attempt to trade up with the Raiders and Eagles. I know the Raiders, who have a ton of holes that need to be filled, would be open to the idea.

If Johnson does make it past the Lions, the Browns' sixth overall pick will become some prime real estate. I think the Cardinals will go for Johnson if he's available, so trading with the Browns may be the best way for teams like the Chargers and Dolphins to have a shot at locking up a tackle. Outside of Dee Milliner, there aren't any players that the Browns could select with that pick who would fill a big need, so they could be open to a trade. The Dolphins have been among the most aggressive teams this offseason and have an extra second-round pick as a result of last year's Vontae Davis trade.

Although this draft class is largely considered too balanced for a big time trade to occur, there is plenty of reason to believe someone could get aggressive early in the first round. The way this tackle draft class is shaping up combined with the amount of teams who need offensive linemen, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see someone make a move into the top-ten to secure one of the top three tackles. My guess is that the Dolphins make a move for Lane Johnson.
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