The Chicago Bears surprised some fans and analysts with the selection of offensive guard Kyle Long with the 20th overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft. Apparently the Bears were influenced by NFC North rivals Detroit Lions with their selection.
When asked about the selection of Long, Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer had this to say, “Suh plays over the right guard and we have to win the division first.” It seems the Bears are scared of Lions’ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and decided to address it with the best available guard in the draft.
Long was listed as the third best offensive guard in the draft by many experts and predicted to be drafted in the second round. When Jonathan Cooper was taken seventh and Chance Warmack taken tenth, the Bears decided to pounce on Long.
Suh has a history terrorizing the Bears and quarterback Jay Cutler. In 2010, Suh was fined $15,000 for a hit on Cutler, which ripped his helmet off. Last season, Suh sacked Cutler on Monday Night Football in terrifying manner that was deemed unclean by many Bears and analysts. Suh sent Cutler to the locker room with his hit, although Cutler would later return and help his team win.
The Bears also took a chance with Long, as he is not too experienced at the guard position. Long was a baseball star, who was drafted in the 2008 MLB Draft. After transferring from Florida State and Saddleback College, he landed at Oregon University. Long switched from defensive end to the offensive line. In 2012, Long started 10 of the 12 games for the Ducks.
Long does have genes on his side. Chris is the son of NFL Hall of Famer Howie Long. That also makes Chris the brother of Kyle Long, who is enjoying a successful NFL career as well.
I think the Bears gambled a little bit with their selection of Long. However, in a tough NFC North division that posted more wins than any other 2012 NFL conference, the Bears need division wins just as bad as Kromer says.