Friday, May 17, 2024

NFL Scout Says Chicago Bears O-Line Is One Piece Away From Elite Status

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GM Ryan Poles knew what he needed to do upon arrival last year. He had to fix the Chicago Bears’ offensive line. That was a top priority. Justin Fields was under way too much pressure, and there were too many instances of the front getting bullied by other opponents. That was unacceptable. It would take some time, but Poles seemed confident he could get things pointed in the right direction. After some initial setbacks, it appears his efforts are starting to pay off handsomely.

The rebuild started with the arrival of Braxton Jones in the 5th round last year. The left tackle from Southern Utah, starting every game as a rookie, was a complete surprise. He appears to have improved considerably this year. Chicago also shifted Teven Jenkins inside to guard, where he has flourished. Next came veteran Nate Davis from Tennessee. Though plagued by health and personal issues, he has looked good on the field. Lastly came 10th overall pick Darnell Wright at right tackle. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune got notable feedback about the group this past week.

The feeling is the Bears might be one piece away from something serious.

“That wouldn’t be a priority in my mind as I look at it,” said a pro scout I chatted with the other day. “They better keep No. 70 around. That is a legitimate starter there. He’s a very good pass protector. He’s had some outstanding games. At minimum, he is a sufficient run blocker.”

“He sticks his face in there,” the scout said. “He’s aggressive, tough, competitive, he’s developed. To me, the Bears have four starters. They gotta find a center. They have a swing tackle (Larry Borom). I like (Ja’Tyre) Carter too.”

Center has plagued the Chicago Bears for years.

Since Olin Kreutz left in 2011, the team hasn’t found a serious long-term fixture for the position. Will Montgomery was a poor replacement. Hroniss Grasu tore his ACL. Cody Whitehair was mostly serviceable but constantly suffered from snap issues. James Daniels flopped in his half a season at the job. Lucas Patrick struggled with injuries and isn’t a reliable pass blocker. These problems have haunted the Bears at several inopportune times over the past decade. It is past time they got serious about finding somebody they can rely on.

Having Poles in charge gives them a clear advantage. He has demonstrated a keen eye for offensive line talent. Jones and Wright look like fixtures at tackle. If he can find the Chicago Bears a legitimate center, this group will have a chance to put the NFL on notice. This team won’t get pushed around anymore. The upcoming NFL draft features some intriguing names like Sedrick Van Pran of Georgia and Zach Frazier of West Virginia. Both have the size, mobility, and experience to handle the job. Maybe somebody else grabs their attention.

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Either way, it feels like a priority position next spring.

12 COMMENTS

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Tred
Tred
Nov 21, 2023 12:36 pm

Sam Mustipher PFF – 69.2 Cody Whitehair PFF-44.7 Lucas Patrick PFF – 51.0 Dan Feeney PFF-57.0 Please do not let Chris Morgan have any input on our next Center. Morgan wanted Mustipher out, and also wanted to dump Teven Jenkins. I get that Mustipher is a back up Center, but what do you call Patrick, Whitehair, and Feeney? There isn’t a solid starter in the group. Whitehair can’t even snap. These are the guys Morgan wanted to keep. The Bears are also very undisciplined on the OL, with both Darnell Wright and Braxton Jones taking quite a few penalties. If… Read more »

TGena
TGena
Nov 21, 2023 12:15 pm

If OL coaches in the NFL truly “develop” anything, it’s the concept of playing as one — coming off the ball together, with a purpose.

When a team’s OL has committed 33 penalties in eleven games, the OL coach has to be seen as a large part of the problem.

OL penalties by Bears player:

Darnell Wright: 8
Braxton Jones: 7
Lucas Patrick: 7
Larry Borom: 5
Teven Jenkins: 3
Cody Whitehair: 2
Ja’Tyre Carter: 1.

Not good, “C-Mo!”

PoochPest
PoochPest
Nov 21, 2023 11:13 am

Chris Morgan seems to be developing great o-line players. Get him a couple more!

Sam
Sam
Nov 21, 2023 11:00 am

Everyone wants Fashanu or the OT from ND… I see no reason to use a super high pick on replacing Jones. He’s a good tackle. And nooooway we spend a 1st rounder on a center. There are 2-3 quality centers most likely coming available in FA next spring. Or work some magic in recouping a 2nd round pick for this draft. If we somehow score the 1st and 3rd pick.. u can trade that #1 for a haul like last year that could include a 1st n 2nd this year and possibly a quality center, safety or 3T (among other… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Sam
TGena
TGena
Nov 21, 2023 10:05 am

Poles was stupid to let James Daniels walk. Lucas Patrick sucked from Day One — even Sam Mustipher is better; and Poles tried to drive Teven Jenkins out of Halas Hall. Poles also: tried to sign the Bills’ Ryan Bates (Is he still in the league?); Poles actually signed Dakota “Bull” Dozier; Julien Davenport (“great length”) and wasted a roster spot on the Raiders’ 1st-round mistake, Alex Leatherwood. Re-invent the past if you want, Lambert. The OL and DL addictions (and subtractions) by Ryan Poles have been weak. Which reminds me: Does anyone else see a lot of Velus Jones’… Read more »

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