It’s not so much that Long won’t eventually be a productive lineman in the NFL, it’s the fact that the Bears passed up on possibly the next Pro Bowl tight end in Tyler Eifert.
A very athletic pass-catcher out of Norte Dame, Eifert would have been a perfect fit for the Bears.
Finishing 10-6 last season, the Bears fell just short of the playoffs. Despite a 81-63 career record as the head coach of the Bears, Lovie Smith was let go by Chicago a few days after the 2012-2013 regular season ended.
Marc Trestman was brought in to replace Smith, and the Bears immediately went from a team that preaches defense, to an offensive minded squad. Known for having a great deal of insight in regards to the offensive side of football, Trestman obviously had a ton of input on who the Bears drafted in the first round.
Although Trestman and the Bears did take an offensive player with their first pick, they took the wrong guy. Eifert would have created matchup problems every Sunday, yet the Bears decided to not draft him. I understand Chicago needs a lot of help on their offensive line, but I still feel they missed a golden opportunity in Eifert.
The Bears still have more draft picks coming in the next few days, but as of right now I’d grade their first pick as a C. Long could become a Prol Bowl guard at some point, but I’d be shocked if he ever makes the noise Eifert is projected to.