If it wasn’t already official, the Chicago Bears are finally serious about the offensive line spot. After years of letting Jay Cutler get beat up back there, this offseason has seen a massive effort to give their franchise quarterback the best protection money can buy.
A signing and trading period that saw them take savvy pass-protecting left guard Matt Slauson and former New Orleans Saints starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod is now complemented with a 2013 NFL Draft haul headlined by Oregon guard Kyle Long at pick No. 20.
So how will this new-look line, well, look?
“I just want to play,” Long told the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t care where it is. I’m sure that the coaches have a plan for that. I’m just going to work at whatever they want to do.”
The Bears have ostensibly improved every spot on the offensive line except center, where Roberto Garza will remain (yes, the guy creepily wearing Cutler’s jersey in that new commercial). I am projecting — straight across — LT Bushrod, LG Slauson, C Garza, RG Long and RT J’Marcus Webb as the starters, which should give Cutler more time to find a deep threat like Alshon Jeffery downfield.
Jon Bostic in Round 2 and Khaseem Greene in Round 4 help bolster a linebacker spot that lost Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach this offseason, and added stop-gap vets in their place last month. Cornelius Washington could be a great value in Round 6 and gives Chicago another edge rusher, which is a spot that can’t be over-saturated.
Picks: Long (1-20), Bostic (2-18), Greene (4-20), Jordan Mills (5-30), Washington (6-20), Marquess Wilson (7-30)