2012 NFL Draft: 5 Teams That Need to Bolster Their Offensive Line

Kevin HolzContributor IApril 20, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 24:  Offensive lineman Orlando Pace #76 of the St. Louis Rams against the Oakland Raiders during a preseason game at McAfee Coliseum on August 24, 2007 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Greg Trott/Getty Images)
Greg Trott/Getty Images

It's not fun.  It's anti-climatic.  Their talents go largely overlooked.  But sometimes it has to be done; sometimes you have to draft an offensive lineman. 

Drafting the right offensive lineman can change the dynamic of your offense for years.  Orlando Pace was taken No. 1 overall by St. Louis.  Kurt Warner and the greatest show on turf and never had to worry about his blind side during the Pace era. 

Any team could use a stellar offensive lineman, but for some teams, it is the difference between playing in January and watching from home.


Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have continuously pieced their offensive lines with scotch tape, and last year it cost them dearly when Roethlisberger went down with a severe high ankle sprain.  Yes, Big Ben creates a lot of his issues by holding onto the ball too long, but a Steelers fan is kidding themselves if they don't think the offensive line needs to finally be addressed. 

If the Steelers can't get Dont'a Hightower, then they have have got to address that line.  Things got so rough for the Steelers they had to re-sign Max Starks midseason.  Pouncey was a good place to start two drafts ago, but they still need to continue to rebuild the line.


St. Louis Rams

The Rams' offensive unit is, in a word, embarrassing.  They have no depth and no talent.  They have what they think is a franchise quarterback with Sam Bradford, but they had a lot of issues keeping him upright last year.  They gave up 55 sacks a year ago.


Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals have some playmakers and a blue-chip coach, but that will only get you so far when you give up 54 sacks throughout the season.  If Kevin Kolb is to remain their quarterback, he is definitely going to need more protection.  He can't run and isn't mobile in the pocket.  Protecting him so he can actually get the ball to Fitzgerald seems like a top priority.


Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins were third worst in sacks allowed with 52, and are instituting a new West Coast offense that requires more quick and athletic offensive linemen.  Marc Colombo is gone, and replacing him will be a top priority if they don't want their quarterback to be scrambling away from the right side of the rushers.


Chicago Bears

The line is a mess.  They haven't signed anyone of note to fill in on the offensive line, and they don't have a replacement for J'Marcus Webb, who couldn't protect anyone's blind side.  The Bears were rolling and looking dangerous late last season, until Cutler went down with his weird thumb injury. 

We saw what happened when they were able to keep Cutler upright.  Imagine what they could be if Cutler and the Bears QBs weren't getting sacked 49 times.