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Bills draft preview: Offensive tackle

As we step away on vacation, we'll provide a position-by-position preview of next month's draft from a Buffalo Bills perspective:

Position: Offensive tackle

Current personnel: Cordy Glenn (signed through 2015), Erik Pears (2014), Chris Hairston (2014), Edawn Coughman (2015)

Draft need: High

State of the position: There is little doubt the Bills will target this position in the draft. Pears is 32, entering the final year of his deal, and showed at points last season that the Bills could use an upgrade at right tackle. Hairston probably isn't the answer. While he started 15 games for the Bills between 2011 and 2012, Hairston spent all of last season on the reserve/non-football illness list. The last update from coach Doug Marrone and general manager Doug Whaley was that Hairston still had medical hurdles to clear before returning, and even then, it's not known how Marrone -- who has a keen eye for offensive linemen -- views the former fourth-round pick. That's not to say Hairston couldn't contribute if healthy, but it shouldn't preclude the Bills from drafting an offensive tackle.

The Bills have a good shot at plucking one of the top three tackles off the board when they select at ninth overall. If they do so, will he play left tackle or right tackle? Glenn performed well at left tackle last season and moving him to right tackle to accommodate a rookie at left tackle seems like a risky move. The safer option would be to start the first-round pick at right tackle and keep Glenn at left tackle until performance dictates otherwise. Of course, that raises a debate over whether right tackle is a position worthy of selecting early in the first round. A case can be made either way, but it's important to note that even a second-round or third-round tackle should be able to compete with Pears and Hairston for the starting job.

Sweet spot: Any round, especially first round.

Possible targets: Greg Robinson (Auburn), Jake Matthews (Texas A&M), Taylor Lewan (Michigan)