NFL Free Agency: Jared Gaither and Buffalo Bills Offensive Line Prospects

Robert QuinnCorrespondent IMay 24, 2011

NFL Free Agency: Jared Gaither and Buffalo Bills Offensive Line Prospects

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    BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 29:  Jared Gaither #71 of the Baltimore Ravens defends against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on November 29, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Steelers 20-17. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
    Larry French/Getty Images

    The Buffalo Bills have had a hard time finding solidarity at the offensive tackle position, especially on the right side. 

    They haven't a tackle in the first half of the draft in years, opting for Ed Wang in the fifth round last year and Chris Hairston in the fourth this year. 

    With the issues surrounding the pending agreement to a new collective bargaining agreement, the Bills haven't been able to approach any soon-to-be free agents that could bolster their roster, bumping them from being perennial losers in the AFC East. 

    Here, we take a look at some offensive tackles that could solidify the ends of the Bills front line.

Tyson Clabo, Atlanta Falcons

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    ATLANTA - DECEMBER 14:  Tackle Tyson Clabo #77 of the Atlanta Falcons lines up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers  at the Georgia Dome on December 14, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Tyson Clabo is a premier right tackle for the Atlanta Falcons, and has played a major role in bringing Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and the Dirty Birds to the playoffs. 

    Since signing with the Falcons, he hasn't missed any of the 53 games played. At 6'6" 331 pounds, Clabo has misleading athleticism, and extraordinary power to keep pass-rushers at bay. 

    He rarely gets pushed backwards, seals the edge like no other and is instinctive in blocking schemes.

    At 29, it may be a stretch to offer the big-time contract Clabo might he looking for after a Pro Bowl appearance, but he would certainly bring some beef up front to the Bills offensive line. 

Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens

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    BALTIMORE - DECEMBER 20:  Marshal Yanda #73 of the Baltimore Ravens defends against the Chicago Bears at M&T Bank Stadium on December 20, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Bears 31-7. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
    Larry French/Getty Images

    Marshal Yanda would be a perfect fit for the Buffalo Bills, mainly due to his versatility to play both guard and right tackle at a high-quality level. 

    At just 26 years old, Yanda still has room to beef up and gain strength. His three years in the National Football League have been productive, as he has been moved from position to position. 

    The front office at One Bills Drive may be able to snatch Yanda up for a solid price, considering many Ravens fans believe they got their future guard/tackle when they drafted Central Florida's Jah Reid.

    Yanda's upside is too hard to pass on, as he improves in his technique and blocking skills each and every year he plays. 

Jared Gaither, Baltimore Ravens

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    MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 4:  Tackle Jared Gaither #71 of the Baltimore Ravens  sets to block against the Miami Dolphins in an NFL Wildcard Playoff Game at Dolphins Stadium on January 4, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Last offseason, it was reported that Jared Gaither was unhappy in Baltimore due to the arrival of Michael Oher—who eventually took his starting job at left tackle—and was being shopped around. 

    Bills fans around the country screamed on message boards and internet forums for the front office to make a move at the 6'9" 330-pound behemoth lineman. 

    Still just 25 years of age, Gaither already has the physical tools the Bills are looking for and he looked solid in his play on the left side. 

    He is punishing in his run-blocking and still struggles at times in pass protection, but could be instantly plugged in at right tackle over Erik Pears or Mansfield Wrotto. 

Ryan Harris, Denver Broncos

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    DENVER - OCTOBER 05:  Offensive tackle Ryan Harris #74 of the Denver Broncos lines up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during NFL action on October 5, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Buccaneers 16-13.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Ima
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Ryan Harris has been the starting right tackle for the Denver Broncos over the last two seasons, and he may be on his way out of Mile High City. He struggled with Denver's zone blocking scheme, but he still has the ability to be a quality tackle in the National Football League.

    Harris is another lineman who thrives at the right tackle position and continues to improve with each year. The only knack on him is that he reportedly lacks a nastiness to finish off pass-rushers, but he could compete for a starting role on the Bills offensive line.  

Jermon Bushrod, New Orleans Saints

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 07:  Jermon Bushrod #74 of the New Orleans Saints against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 7, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Jermon Bushrod didn't see starting time on the New Orleans Saints offensive line until his third year while he sat behind veteran tackle Jammal Brown. 

    He is a tough left tackle with long arms, and can pass-protect and run-block with ease. Bushrod has a strong and thick core to his 6'5" 315-pound frame, but is still agile enough to display great footwork in pass-blocking and remain stout in protections. 

    At just 26 years of age, Bushrod could be a long-term answer at both tackle positions on the Buffalo Bills offensive line.