Tackle needy teams could provide trade options in the NFL Draft
One position, however, could end up forcing someone to get aggressive. Whether they lost one in free agency or simply never had one, several teams near the top of this year's draft have holes at offensive tackle. There are several teams within striking distance of a top-notch tackle who have major needs on the offensive line.
It starts right at the top of the draft with the Kansas City Chiefs. After releasing right tackle Eric Winston and signing left tackle Branden Albert to a one-year franchise tender, many expect the Chiefs to select either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher with the first overall pick. However, the Chiefs don't need a tackle the way some of these other teams do, and could be a trade candidate if another team feels they need to lock up one of the top tackles.
The Jaguars, who have the second overall pick, have a terrible offensive line. Their one good player in the trenches, Eugene Monroe, is entering the final year of his contract. The Jaguars could address the defensive side of the ball, but a tackle is a very realistic option.
Though I expect the Raiders to draft defense at third overall, their offensive line was awful last year and they could take Joeckel or Fisher if they are available.
With Jason Peters reportedly feeling a hundred percent, I wouldn't expect the Eagles to select a tackle, but some people with more knowledge than me have suggested that they will.
After losing Jeff Backus and Gosder Cherilus this offseason, the Lions have huge holes at both tackle positions. I think it is their biggest need, and they very well may reach for one at fifth overall if Joeckel and Fisher are gone.
The Cardinals locked up a solid quarterback by trading for Carson Palmer, so their biggest need is now clearly on the offensive line. Palmer may be an upgrade over Kevin Kolb, but if the immobile former-Raider doesn't have some time in the pocket, the offensive won't significantly improve. The Cardinals draft seventh overall.
The Chargers took a big cap hit to cut left tackle Jared Gaither after he essentially quit on them in 2012. Their offensive line was a weakness before the release of Gaither, and they also lost top guard Louis Vasquez in free agency. I'd expect the Chargers to draft a lineman at 11th overall.
Finally, we have the Dolphins, who lost Jake Long to the Rams in free agency. The Dolphins are reportedly targeting Lane Johnson - considered by many to be the draft's third best tackle - but will he be available at 12th overall? I can't see that happening.