Perhaps no unit on the Chicago Bears roster improved more over the previous three days than the offensive line. Most will focus their attention on 2nd round pick Teven Jenkins. That is perfectly fine. The giant Oklahoma State right tackle was dominant at times in college and many were shocked he fell out of the 1st round. The Bears think so highly of him that they admitted their belief he is capable of being their left tackle of the future.
They weren’t done though. Later on Day 3, the trade the Bears made with Carolina to go get Jenkins ended up producing another offensive lineman in the form of Larry Borom. The 5th round pick didn’t get a lot of attention at Missouri but the flashes on tape were hard to ignore. Good technique and awareness along with size and serious power. The primary gripe teams had with him was an apparent lack of conditioning. Something that GM Ryan Pace said the blocker addressed this spring. An encouraging sign. Borom has the capability to be a starting right tackle.
Yet the Bears still weren’t done.
One thing about Pace? He has a tendency to continue the successful evaluations beyond the draft into undrafted free agency. Just two years ago he snagged a pair of quality blockers for the offensive line in the form of Sam Mustipher and Alex Bars. Mustipher is now their starting center while Bars is a high-quality backup at both guard spots. Each stood out in a positive way multiple times last season.
Ever so quietly, the Bears GM may have done it again. While fans came down off the high of the draft and took time to rest, the team added a pair of blockers in the initial rush for undrafted players. Most won’t know their names, but upon evaluation, it soon becomes apparent Chicago did quite well.
Dareuan Parker in Deion Calhoun’s spot late in the third quarter and throws a nice pull block pic.twitter.com/x7pdvoageN
— Brett Hudson (@Brett_Hudson) November 4, 2018
Dareuan Parker and Gage Cervenka join Chicago Bears
Parker never got enough attention at Mississippi State. He’s 6’4 and 330 lbs. Just a massive human being. That shows up a lot in the running game where his mass and power drive open lanes for his backs. The guy isn’t afraid to deliver the punch and seems to relish making defenders feel his presence. His pass protection also stood out. Despite logging the most pass block snaps of any guard in 2020, he didn’t allow a sack.
Then there is Cervenka. It’s not entirely certain why it took the former Clemson guard this long to find a team since he actually went undrafted in 2020. One can likely surmise he chose to opt out of playing that year due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fact the Chicago Bears never forgot about him is a testament to the work their scouts and front office have done.
Couple things here:
1) Gage Cervenka killed a guy
2) Travis don’t give a damn about your defenders angles. Speed kills. pic.twitter.com/DvpYrKdaKE
— Tiger Commenter (@TigerCommenter) December 30, 2018
It was a shock to many that Cervenka wasn’t drafted a year ago.
He started 23 games for the Tigers and became a permanent team captain during that time. His mixture of power and technique stands out regularly on tape. The guy is a punisher. He’s also versatile having played both guard and center. He was a central part of their 2018 run to a national championship. A year running back Travis Etienne piled up 1,658 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns. A lot of that going behind Cervenka’s right guard spot.
These two guys can play. Don’t be fooled by their undrafted status. Their tape shows more than enough to suggest it isn’t a stretch to see them cracking the final roster. It adds to an already great problem the Chicago Bears have regarding their rich depth along the interior of their offensive line.