Bears ready to size up offensive tackles
Chicago Bears: Chicago Bears ready to size up offensive tackles - chicagotribune.com
Trestman, Emery will get a look at plenty this week at Senior Bowl
With Marc Trestman on board, Phil Emery has achieved his goal of being able to stand side by side with his head coach in Mobile, Ala., while watching Senior Bowl practices.Starting Monday, the Bears general manager and head coach are likely to spend a lot of time in the ends of the practice fields at Ladd Peebles Stadium where the offensive linemen take on the defensive linemen.
Emery and Trestman appear to be of like mind that a blocker will be a priority in the April draft.
It just so happens that the Senior Bowl offers quite a smorgasbord of offensive tackles. As many as eight of the tackles on the Senior Bowl rosters could be chosen in the first and second rounds.
Of the top tackles in the draft, the only ones not scheduled to be in Mobile are Texas A&M junior Luke Joeckel, who likely will be long gone by the time the Bears' 20th pick comes around anyway, Louisiana State's Chris Faulk, who is projected to be a second-round pick, and North Carolina's Brennan Williams, another potential second-rounder.
Here, in alphabetical order, are the offensive tackles who are likely to draw a crowd of Bears scouts at the Senior Bowl.
Oday Aboushi, Virginia: He has good power but is viewed as a right tackle only by a number of NFL teams, which diminishes his value. But if Aboushi can show he has the athleticism and quickness to play the left side in Mobile, he can raise his draft stock. As it stands, Aboushi looks like a late second-round pick.
Eric Fisher, Central Michigan: This is a solid left tackle prospect who might not be on the board by the time the Bears' turn comes. The Senior Bowl may have a big say in where he ultimately is taken because he hasn't played against a lot of elite pass rushers. It should be noted he has played well against better competition when he has had the opportunity. Fisher frequently is compared by NFL front-office men to fellow Chippewa and current 49er Joe Staley, which doesn't hurt Fisher a bit.
D.J. Fluker, Alabama: At 6-6, 335, Fluker is a very impressive physical specimen, and he is likely to show his rare power in Senior Bowl practices. Scouts say Fluker probably would be best suited to play right tackle — but he has the potential to be a dominating right tackle. He could be given some reps at guard in Mobile. Fluker, a surefire first-round pick, is likely to create a buzz this week. He performed well against Notre Dame in the BCS title game.
Lane Johnson, Oklahoma: This converted defensive lineman and tight end is seen as a work in progress, and the Senior Bowl will be a good forum to analyze him from a technical standpoint. Johnson has played mostly from the shotgun, so NFL teams will want to see him in a pro-style run game. He has the skill to be a solid starting left tackle in the NFL, so he looks like a good bet to be chosen in the first round. Some think his stock is going up. The upside is pretty high with this guy.
Kyle Long, Oregon: The son of Howie and the brother of Chris, Kyle Long he has a genetic advantage. He is a baseball player turned defensive end turned offensive tackle and has played his current position for only two years, so he has to prove he is ready to block at a high level. If the draft were held today, Long probably would be a second-round pick.
Justin Pugh, Syracuse: He could be a star in one-on-ones because of his athleticism. Pugh looks like a low first-round pick, and could move up with a strong Senior Bowl performance. Teams also want to get a good look at his power game. He and Fluker will be the first non-seniors to play in the Senior Bowl. Exceptions were granted because they had been in school for four years and earned their degrees.
Dallas Thomas, Tennessee: NFL teams are mixed on Thomas, who is being considered both at guard and tackle. He played left tackle for most of his career at Tennessee before being moved to guard as a senior. His run blocking in particular will be scrutinized. If he performs poorly this week, he could fall to the third round or lower.
Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin: He is seen in the lower rung of the top offensive tackle prospects, but he would not be a bad consolation prize in the second or third round. The word is he is better athletically than his former teammate Gabe Carimi, but not as physical.
Chicago Bears: Free Agency the Best Route to Find a Quality Tackle | Bleacher Report
Chicago Bears: Free Agency the Best Route to Find a Quality Tackle
Two of the top tackles that teams were waiting to select in April's NFL draft, Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan, have decided to stay in school for their senior seasons. That changes things for the Chicago Bears.
Despite missing the playoffs for the second straight season, the Bears still had a good enough year to be picking at No. 20 in the first round. Did they play themselves out of the chance to draft a top tackle?
Luke Joeckel won't fall to the Bears, leaving Eric Fisher from Central Michigan and Lane Johnson from Oklahoma as the top targets at the position. Instead, the Bears should see what they can do in free agency.
While it may be tough to land Denver's Ryan Clady, the former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long, Branden Albert and Sebastian Vollmer are players the Bears could obtain.
Albert has played for a bad Chiefs team, but the running game has always been strong with Jamaal Charles. Albert is a solid pass-protector, something the Bears desperately need, and at 28, he still has several good years left in him.
As for Vollmer, he has battled injuries throughout his career but when healthy, he is a very good right tackle. If the Bears are willing to outbid the Patriots for his services, he would be a player worth signing.
The player the Bears must make every effort to sign is Long. Sure, the Dolphins could apply their franchise tag to him, but that would cost them north of $15 million. Because of that, odds are Jake Long plays in a different uniform next year.
Long would be a big upgrade over J'Marcus Webb, and the signing would allow the Bears to use their first-round pick on another player, someone like Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree.
Bears fans may not like hearing their team call out a position other than offensive line in the first round on draft night, but a player like Long or Albert seems a better choice than drafting Fisher or Johnson. Beyond that, there are several quality options at tackle who will be available in later rounds. Chris Faulk from LSU, Menelik Watson out of Florida State and Colorado's David Bakhtiari would all be good choices.
If the Bears aren't able to land a player like Long or Albert through free agency, they may have to draft someone like Fisher or Johnson in the first round. But free agency comes first, and the Bears need to open the wallet in order to get Jay Cutler the protection he'll need next season.
A Jake Long signing would surprise me. I don't think we have enough gas in the tank to get him and he's beginning to show some cracks around the edges as far as his play. He could be the MWill type disappointment of this FA.
Bushrod isn't making a fortune and could probably be had with a nice long term deal and Kromer may the key if we swing in that direction. Albert is the other who stacks up as a good possibility and there we have the Emery connection. Given that KC has first shot at Joeckel and he'll cost them less than Albert to begin with my guess is they won't try very hard to keep him. I'm less sure about that with Bushrod. JA made a play for him two years ago and he decided to stay put and NO will probably want to keep him.
I don't see the draft bringing us a day one starting LT but we may find some bargains in round two. There seem to be a lot of OTs again this year but I'd put most of them in the same category as guys like Carimi and Reiff have been in the last two drafts. So I'm not opposed to drafting one but I don't think we're gonna find a starting LT in the draft and there will most likely be better picks at other positions when our pick rolls around. JMHO
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap. Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.
Draft wise... it might provide us with a potential project, but Emery will have to go to UFA to find a quicker fix to our OLine woes. Branden Albert looks like the one that won't break the bank and yet give us some room to bring in a guard to challenge for a spot in training camp.
Jake Long has the possible makings of another Angelo/Pace situation. The idea of being able to plug in a guy like Long makes all the sense world when to compare him to what they have put on the field in recent years, but like Pace the best day are obviously behind Long.
None of my posts on this forum have been aided by the use of deer-antler spray...
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This is why I have little respect for Bleacher Report. Long is not the must have LT. From the articles and radio bits I've heard about him, he's breaking down physically much too quick for his age. I don't want a guy that can't stay healthy, no matter how high profile he is.
Originally Posted by little bear
Albert is the move I'd want in FA, but that's a big if too because I get the feeling he's a bit crazy about his worth. The fact that Demetress
Bell got a 35 million dollar deal last year makes me think we might be addressing our LT needs in the draft.
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I think the fact that we are drafting at 20, do not have a 3rd round pick, and have neglected the line for so long means that we might have to overpay for a LT in free agency to begin the process of fixing the line. If LT was the only weak link I might agree with you about moving up and getting one in the draft, but we also have to draft a LG and a C at the very least and maybe even a RT.
Originally Posted by weneedmorelinemen
At the very least you draft a prospective LT and sign long. Bleacher report rated him as the 7th best tackle in the league and stated, "Long had a down year by his standards, but still allowed pressure on just 1.87 percent of snaps." He is no where as old as Pace was when we signed him. The fact is that even with all of his injuries he was still light years better than Webb.
Top 20 Offensive Tackles in the NFL: Using Advanced Stats to Select the Best OTs | Bleacher Report
I want Barrett Jones in the draft and a FA LT, Long, or ???? is fine enough
Unlike past years, there are more options in both FA and the draft. Given all the recent changes we made, I'm confident that this is finally the year that we re-build our pathetic O-Line. I am one that still thinks Long would be a good pick-up. Even though the injuries are a concern, he is still better than anyone we have seen at LT since Tait left. I wouldn't break the bank on him, but those injuries are going to keep his price down a bit. He'll still be high priced, but perhaps manageable. Regardless, there are a number of options this year. I would also like to see Vollmer an the right side, but I just can't bring myself to give up on Carimi yet, even though he was just terrible. Is it the knee, if so is it healing, or is he just bad?
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The chance of us drafting a starting LT at #20 is about 1%, especially with 2 top junior prospects not entering this years draft. Not gonna happen. We could pick up a developmental OT down draft (not a bad idea no matter what happens in FA), but its a pipe dream to believe that Webb is going to be supplanted by our 1st round pick.
If you're gonna "fix" LT, it needs to be done in FA. We can get interior OL, a LB, and some future talent in the pipeline from the draft.