10 Best Offensive Linemen in the 2012 NFL Draft

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10 Best Offensive Linemen in the 2012 NFL Draft
Jeff Golden/Getty Images

To fans, drafting an offensive lineman in the first round is like clipping your toenails and then eating them with salsa. It's just about the least sexiest move a team can make.  

Forget the salsa part. Clipping your toenails in itself may be the ugliest ritual north of human sacrifice. But like pleasing your in-laws or paying your taxes, it's also an absolutely necessary evil. So, for that matter, is drafting offensive linemen.

You have to pity the devoted draft nicks who wait months for the big April culmination, only to see their teams lead off with a player they will never notice in a game unless he commits a penalty.

I guess this makes Miami Dolphins fans the ultimate draft-obsessed victims. Most fan bases get a flashy quarterback savior as their No. 1 pick. Miami got a plodding offensive tackle.

But no player represents the substance-trumps-style trench-dog dynamic better than Jake Long. His 2008 selection at the No. 1 slot may be the biggest buzz kill in draft history. But in four NFL seasons, the 6'7", 315-pound physical freak has never missed a Pro Bowl start.  

So before you dismiss the big uglies as prospects only the front office executives need to pay attention to, remind yourself of those old Visa commercials featuring Tom Brady and his motley crew of abominable snowmen. Brady wouldn't star in those commercials without his bouncers and body guards because he understood that as a quarterback, he's as vulnerable as anybody. 

The abominable snowmen of the future really aren't that hard to find. You just have to put your fantasy GM hat in the offseason safe for a couple of months. With this human sacrifice-like ritual in mind, here's an early primer to point you in the right direction.    

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