Talented left tackles are difficult to come by in the NFL these days, and that's why there are several teams that must make a run at Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Branden Albert, who could soon be on the move, according to league sources via ESPN.com.
At 6'5", 315 pounds, the 28-year-old Albert is one of the top blindside protectors in the NFL.
He's a former first-round selection and one of the more consistent linemen in football. There's a lot to like about his game and what he brings to the table at this stage of his career.
Here we'll highlight three teams that could really benefit from Albert's services in 2013 and beyond.
According to ESPN.com, the Miami Dolphins have already reached out to Kansas City about potentially acquiring Albert:
The Chiefs have had trade discussions with the Miami Dolphins, among other NFL teams, sources said.
The Dolphins' interest comes as no surprise following Jake Long's departure to St. Louis this offseason.
Miami has an obvious need at left tackle and must bring someone in who can protect second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill in 2013.
Miami only allowed 37 sacks last season, but with a standout player like Long no longer denying pass-rushers and winning at the point of attack on the outside, the Dolphins must find a capable replacement if they hope to improve in Joe Philbin's second year in South Beach.
The Dolphins are on the right track by pursuing Albert.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will draft No. 2 overall on April 25, meaning that they could take one of this year's highly touted offensive linemen in order to improve up front. But if the Jaguars are looking to go in a different direction at No. 2, they must make a run at Branden Albert.
Only Arizona and Green Bay gave up more sacks than Jacksonville (50) last season, and the Jaguars could use a dependable player up front to help move the defense, especially after ranking 30th in rushing a season ago.
If the Jaguars opt to draft a tackle this spring, they would likely be able to get their hands on Central Michigan's Eric Fisher, assuming Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel goes No. 1 overall to Kansas City.
But if Jacksonville's front office has its sights set on the defensive side of the ball in the first round, the Jags will miss out on a golden opportunity to bolster an offensive line that desperately needs a fresh face.
Philly ranked fifth in the NFL in most sacks allowed last season, surrendering 48 in 16 regular season games. On top of that, the Eagles lost 6'9" tackle King Dunlap in free agency.
Which team needs Branden Albert the most?
Therefore, Philadelphia would be wise to make a move for Albert this offseason.
Michael Vick has proven to be vulnerable in the pocket, and if the Eagles don't improve up front, there's very little chance that the veteran will play all 16 games in 2013. After all, he hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2006 with the Atlanta Falcons.
Like Jacksonville, Philadelphia will pick in the Top Five in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft this spring. That said, Philly could bring in a young lineman this April to help keep Vick out of trouble.
But if first-year Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and the front office go a different route, they risk finding themselves in the same situation they were in a year ago.
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