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Ask a former NFL player: Which team has the best roster in the league now?

In his final mailbag, Geoff Schwartz discusses which teams currently have the most talent, and what to expect of Jedrick Wills’ switch from RT to LT for the Browns.

A photo of Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes side by side with TE Travis Kelce, superimposed on a black background with “ask a former NFL player” in white letters
Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce headline a loaded Chiefs roster.

I’ve got one more final mailbag coming at you. Thank you as usual for the questions and your time spent interacting with me. You can keep following along with me on Twitter or Instagram.

One last time, here we go.

Now that the draft is over, which teams are the most talented in the NFL? — @cater123

It’s hard to determine whose roster is the most talented, but I can give you the best guesses. The first is clearly the Chiefs. They return 20 of 22 starters from their Super Bowl team. They’re elite at QB, RT, TE, WR, DE, DT, and safety. They have an above-average LT, multiple other dynamic WRs, and now you can add running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who was just drafted in the first round.

Staying in the AFC, the Ravens are close to the Chiefs. They boast 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson at QB, excellent offensive tackles, some speed at wide receiver and tight end, and now they have Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins. On defense, they added Calais Campbell and Patrick Queen to pair with an outstanding secondary. But, they aren’t the Chiefs.

In the NFC, you have the Buccaneers. They’re loaded now with Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard, an underrated interior offensive line, and first-rounder Tristian Wirfs to play right tackle. On defense, there’s Shaq Barrett, Ndamukong Suh, Lavonte David, and second-round safety Antoine Winfield Jr.

The Saints are also in the discussion. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, and one of the best offensive lines in the NFL round out their offense. On defense, they have Cam Jordan, Marshon Lattimore, Malcolm Jenkins, among others.

So, even though I said I wouldn’t award a winner at the start of this answer, I’m changing my mind. The Chiefs are the winner, because they are elite at the most important positions in the sport.

What do you think about the Browns’ draft, and specifically their complicated left tackle situation? — @CbusBrownsFan

Great question. Jedrick Wills was drafted by the Browns at No. 10 with the hope that he will be their future left tackle. Wills played right tackle in high school AND in college. It’s easy to claim he played right tackle in college because Jonah Williams was there for a season and then because quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is left-handed. But that might be shortsighted considering Wills played right tackle in high school. Honestly, it’s quite surprising to see such an athlete playing that position in high school. Nonetheless, here we are.

Can Wills move to left tackle? There’s almost no history of college right tackles moving to left tackle in the NFL outside of the CowboysTyron Smith, who played two seasons at right tackle at USC before being drafted in the first round. According to his high school football highlights, he played left tackle in high school and then reading his bio on USC, he played scout team left tackle throughout his freshman season. He lined up at right tackle as a sophomore and junior because Matt Kalil, future first-round himself, was the left tackle. We know Smith made the switch seamlessly, as he’s eventually headed to the Hall of Fame.

I do think this move will be more difficult for Wills, who has always played right tackle. My brother disagrees. He correctly point out that Wills is the best prospect at right tackle since Smith and that generally speaking, the right tackle is less athletic than the left tackle in college, so it would make sense they’d never move to left tackle in the NFL. Wills doesn’t fit that profile since he’s a supreme athlete.

I’ve softened my stance a bit after discussing it with Mitch. I do believe Wills can do it, but it won’t be as easy as many think, because again, he’s never played on the left side.

I love that Joe Thomas is going to help Wills and that will be invaluable mentorship. However, I don’t know if that’s going to be the difference if Wills makes it or not. What will help more is Bill Callahan, the awesome offensive line coach for the Browns. He also coached Smith in Dallas when he switched from right to left.

I read a lot about switching from RT to LT. But how about G to C? All the draft guides list them together as IOL. — @Pasquale_CT

When I entered the NFL is 2008, a gameday roster consisted of seven offensive linemen in pads: the starting five, plus one swing tackle and one swing interior lineman. This IOL was responsible for both guard positions and the center position. The reason is the body type of a guard was typically the same as a center.

I think that’s seriously the only reason why they ask someone to learn how to snap. The more you can do, the longer you can play in the NFL. When you play inside, at any of the three positions, you’re used to playing in that confined space, so it makes sense the interior offensive lineman could do.