2013 NFL Draft Projections: Teams That Must Address Offensive-Line Play

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 23:  Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants is hit by inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe #59 of the Baltimore Ravens as Terrell Suggs #55 looks on at M&T Bank Stadium on December 23, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

It's not the sexiest position in the NFL, but there are plenty of teams that must address the offensive line in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Bolstering the offensive line doesn't only protects the quarterback, but aids in the rushing department as well.

Here are my projections for teams that need to address offensive line play.


San Diego Chargers

The Chargers weren't exactly what I'd call a contending team in 2012, but San Diego definitely has the pieces to improve next season.

Despite a rough year (15 interceptions and 88.6 passer rating), Philip Rivers is a great quarterback and has dynamic weapons in Antonio Gates and Malcolm Floyd, but the O-line needs improvement.

Rivers was the second-most sacked QB this season (49 times) and San Diego's running game ranked No. 27 in the NFL.

Ryan Mathews has already shown to be an injury-prone running back, so getting help on the offensive line will only help Mathews, Rivers and the rest of the Chargers' offense.

Projected Pick: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

Green Bay Packers

There were many times this season where 2011 MVP Aaron Rodgers looked like a rag doll.

He was the most-sacked quarterback in the league (51), and as per usual, Green Bay's offense relied on Rodgers to lead the offense.

The Packers' running game ranked 20th in the NFL and accounted for just nine touchdowns the entire season.

More consistent offensive-line play will result in more yards in the rushing game, and more importantly, the safety and longevity of Rodgers under center.

The Packers are always a contender with Rodgers leading the way, and it'll only get better in Green Bay if its brass focuses on bolstering the O-line.

Projected Pick: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama


New York Giants

Because Jerry Reese likes to focus on athletes over needs, the Giants likely won't draft an offensive lineman in the first two rounds, but they should.

Eli Manning may have only been sacked 19 times this season, but he took a lot of big hits, and New York has seen David Diehl progressively decline.

For a team with multiple running backs who have the talent to gain chunks of yardage, a 14th-ranked running game is unacceptable.

New York's poor offensive-line play was exploited against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 16, when Manning was sacked three times and the Giants running game gained a mere 67 yards.

If the G-Men plan on getting back to the playoffs next season in a stacked NFC East, they need to address the offensive line in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Projected Pick: Rick Wagner, OT, Wisconsin


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