2012 NFL Draft: 10 Teams That Need Help on the Offensive Line

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2012 NFL Draft: 10 Teams That Need Help on the Offensive Line
David Purdy/Getty Images
Iowa left tackle Riley Reiff protecting his quarterback

While the quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends get most of the attention, good blocking up front by the offensive line is key to the success of any football offense. This is especially true at the National Football League level, where poor blocking means quick sacks and tackles for loss by the defense.

One time of year when offensive linemen do receive the attention they deserve is during NFL draft season. In the 2011 NFL Draft, eight of the 32 first-round picks were offensive linemen.

The 2012 NFL Draft features a very strong class of offensive linemen, so expect an emphasis to be placed upon blockers early once again. Three sure-fire first-round offensive tackles—USC’s Matt Kalil, Stanford’s Jonathan Martin and Iowa’s Riley Reiff—have declared as juniors for the upcoming draft, and all are likely to be selected within the top10  draft picks. Martin’s Stanford teammate, David DeCastro, has also declared for the upcoming draft, and is also a sure-fire first-round pick.

Who will select Kalil, Martin, Reiff, DeCastro and many other offensive linemen throughout the 2012 NFL draft? These are the 10 teams that most need offensive line help this offseason.

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