The last time a team selected a guard with a top-10 pick in the NFL draft, the Saints selected Chris Naeole out of Colorado in 1997 with the No. 10 pick. There have been several guards selected in the first round since then, but none with a top-10 pick. However, there will be a guard selected in the top-10 of the 2013 NFL Draft, according to ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter.
When it comes to NFL offensive lines, the majority of the emphasis is put on the tackle position. However, the guards are integral parts of an offensive line as well, especially when it comes to the running game. While the first two picks in this year's draft class are expected to be Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher, both offensive tackles, there are guards worthy of a top-10 pick.
Alabama's Chance Warmack is widely considered this year's top guard and North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper is right behind him. Both the Bills, who go on the clock at No. 8, and the Titans, who are sitting at No. 10, could use help at the position. While they're not both guaranteed to select a guard, there's a good chance that those are teams Schefter is referring to.
Since 2000, there have been nine guards selected in the first round. They are Shawn Andrews (16th in '04), Steve Hutchinson (17th in '01), Mike Iupati (17th in '10), Davin Joseph (23rd in '06), David DeCastro (24th in '12), Kevin Zeitler (27th in '12), Ben Grubbs (29th in '07), Kendall Simmons (30th in '02) and Logan Mankins (32nd in '05). Only Simmons, Decastro and Zeitler have not been named to at least one Pro Bowl in that group.
NFL quarterbacks are typically at their worst when they are pressured up the middle, and for running backs to be successful in the NFL guards need to move defensive tackles and linebackers out of the way. While the position may not be quite as important as the tackle position, good guards are important to any offense.