NFL Draft 2013: Chicago Bears Searching for Game Changer at TE Position
What’s noticeably missing on the Chicago Bears offense besides a competent offensive line is an explosive game changer at the tight end position. The Bears have a top 5 receiver in Brandon Marshall, who dictates coverage each week. When healthy, they have a number two WR who has the potential to be a number one WR in Alshon Jeffery. On the ground they have a top five talent at the running back position in Matt Forte. The Bears are missing that explosive TE that can make secondary’s pay for double covering Marshall.
Right now on the roster the Bears have a bunch of TE’s that are not starting caliber. Kellen Davis was billed by head coach Lovie Smith as a guy who has all the potential in world to be an elite tight end. Davis performance this season however suggests that Smith needs to stick with the defensive side of the ball. Matt Spaeth is nothing more than a blocking TE who could occasionally be another red zone option. Kyle Adams hasn’t been given much of a chance to be a factor, which should tell you something about his ability.
Evan Rodriguez proved in a glimpse on Monday Night Football that he’s too under size to be a traditional TE, and is better served playing the F-Back role.
Ideal Prospect for the Bears: Zach Ertz Stanford
While Tyler Eifert dominates the headlines as the best TE in the nation, Ertz is not going unknown. Ertz is built similar to Eifert at 6-6 249 pound. He’s a little quicker than Eifert and goes up for the football like a power forward would go up for a rebound. He’s also a very decent route runner for his size, which makes him a tough cover for opposing linebackers and safeties.
He’s still improving as a blocker, but as a pure pass catcher Ertz could help the Bears out tremendously. The addition of Ertz would open up opportunities for Rodriguez to make an impact as a pass catcher from that F-Back position.
Right now, Ertz is projected as a 2nd-to-3rd round pick according to Walterfootball.com but you can expect that projection to go up great pre-draft workouts.