The Chicago Bears had a different game plan than most analysts expected during the 2013 NFL Draft. Mocks everywhere had linebacker Manti Te’o and tight end Tyler Eifert going to Chicago with the 20th overall selection. As it turns out, the Bears were planning to upgrade their offensive line, all along.
The selection of offensive guard Kyle Long was definitely controversial in the first round. Most analysts didn’t have him going in round one, but after a slew of linemen went in the top-10, the Bears had to look down their target list.
Long, is no doubt a project, with only one year of top-level football under his belt. It’s probably safe to say, Phil Emery is not drafting Long for what he’ll do in 2013, but for what he’s capable of in the years that follow.
So what does it all add up to? The Bears are simply trying their best to improve an offensive line that desperately needs it. Coming off of several seasons in which Jay Cutler has just been absolutely pummeled, something finally had to change. With Marc Trestman now running the show, he’s going to make sure his offense has the proper time to develop. It doesn’t matter what scheme you run, if you can’t get protection for your quarterback.
For those upset with the decision not to take Eifert, the frustration is certainly understandable. However, the o-line benefited, so it should be a win in the long-run. The Bears must have felt comfortable with their weapons in place on offense, and that they were better served to add a quality blocker into the mix.
Kyle Long now becomes a name on the long list of linemen to join the Bears in 2013, a list that also includes free agent signings – OT Jermon Bushrod, G Matt Slauson, and fellow draftee OT Jordan Mills.
Whether you completely agree with their decisions to acquire these players or not, you still have to give Chicago credit for trying to improve a unit that greatly needs it.
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