NFL Draft 2013: Chicago Bears have an Interior Line Problem
The Chicago Bears atrocious offensive line reared its ugly head last week against the Green Bay Packers. James Brown proved last week that he’s better equipped playing on the outside at either right tackle or left tackle. The undrafted free agent struggled mightily with the twists and stunts defensive coordinator Dom Capers threw at him, and was mentally overwhelmed.
Gabe Carimi was so bad at right guard that the Bears have no choice but to go through the Chris Spencer experience again at the position. After a good season last year, Spencer has looked terrible this year whenever he’s in the line-up.
Roberto Garza has had some solid seasons with the Bears, but this season is not one of them. Garza is not the ideal Center to handle opposing nose tackles. He got dominated by Packers NT B.J. Raiji who is nothing more than just serviceable.
If you want to get an idea of how bad the Bears interior line is, look no further than them failing to get Matt Forte across the goal line last Sunday. You can also look back to the Minnesota Vikings game where Jay Cutler audible to a pass on 3rd and one before throwing a pick six. There’s no trust for that unit inside to move opposing defensive tackles off the ball in order to make room for the running backs to convert on key downs.
Ideal Prospect for the Bears: Dallas Thomas Tennessee
The Bears ideally have needs at LG and C on the interior line. Lance Louis tore his ACL late in the season, but I fully expect Phil Emery to re-sign Louis to a new contract in the off-season anyway. It might not be the big deal that Louis was expecting, but the Bears will have a position filled up. With Spencer’s struggles at the position, Edwin Williams not being a complete player, and Chilo Rachal quitting on the team, the Bears are hurting for a new LG.
Thomas could be that ideal LG they need at the position. Thomas is one of the better interior run blockers in next year’s draft. He’s one of the main reasons for Tennessee’s ground attack being a success this year. Thomas is quick and athletic for his size at 6-5, 310 pounds, which explains why the team played him at offensive tackle before this year. He’s also a skilled pass protector at the position as he uses his hands and feet well to stay in front of opposing DT’s.
Right now, Thomas projects as a mid-second round prospect on most draft publications, so if the Bears continue their free-fall, he could be there for them in the second round.