While Roberto Garza has been playing serviceable football this season for the Chicago Bears, the center position is long overdue for a long-term replacement. Garza is a smart instinctive center that relies more on technique than skill at the position. He’s a solid veteran presence in the middle of that offensive line where the Bears have three young starters in J’Marcus Webb, Gabe Carimi, and Lance Louis.
A lot of the talk amongst Bears fans is that if they had to pick the most glaring need on the offensive line, it would be at left tackle. However, since week two Webb has been playing pretty good football. Left guard is also a position that can be upgraded by a young player, but Chilo Rachal still has a lot left in the tank and is becoming a more complete lineman with each game.
Carimi is a weakness at right tackle from a pass protection perspective, but this is virtually his rookie season and he’s too young to give up on. Garza will be 34-years old next year and the major decline could be right around the corner for the long time veteran. The Bears need to set themselves up to not experience that.
Ideal Prospect for the Bears: Barrett Jones Alabama
If there’s a player that could be an instant impact on the line for the Bears it is Jones. Jones is playing center for the first time for Alabama, but is having a great season at the position. Last season, Jones was Alabama best pass protector playing LT for the team, and at center he’s still the team’s best pass protector.
He will mostly fit in Mike Tice’s scheme simply because he’s a monster run blocker, and has the intelligence and physical tools to not only be an All-Pro OL, but make other linemen around him better.