Pat Kirwan focuses on the offensive guard position in a piece now posted on NFL.com, which has a natural tie-in to the Patriots and Logan Mankins.
First, Kirwan notes that the draft was thin in this area (just 12 guards selected), as evidenced by the large gap between the first guard selected (Danny Watkins, No. 23) and the second guard selected (John Moffitt, No. 75).
Because of this, Kirwan writes, "The reality is teams in search of a starter are looking ahead to free agency."
Kirwan also details some of the potential options on the market, writing, "Teams looking for a guard will love this list, but they might not like the type of money it will take to land those players."
The piece includes a chart of the top five guard salaries, which provides a framework for where Mankins might fall with a long-term deal.
The chart also reflects why Mankins might be more willing to assume the risk of signing a one-year, $10 million franchise tag tender over the security of a longer-term deal which he feels doesn't represent his market value. A $10 million guaranteed salary for one year looks very strong for a guard.