The Chicago Bears played host to one of the NFL Draft’s top tackle prospects on Tuesday:
Utah left tackle Garett Bolles is visiting the @ChicagoBears today, per a source.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 11, 2017
The Bears’ offensive line is sturdy in the middle with Josh Sitton, Cody Whitehair, and Kyle Long – but questions remain on the outside. This is where a prospect like Garett Bolles could come into play. Bolles checks in at 6-foot-5, 297 pounds and is one of the draft’s most intriguing offensive line prospects. After starting his college career at Snow College, the junior college transfer made the most out of his one season at Utah as he earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors as a left tackle.
Bolles persevered through some troubling teenage years, experienced what seemed to be a life-changing church mission, and spent two years developing at the junior college level before becoming a highly sought-after offensive line prospect. This September 2016 profile by Mike Sorensen captures Bolles’ rise through his trials and tribulations to becoming Utah’s top left tackle.
The Bears’ needs along the offensive line are at the tackle spots, where Charles Leno Jr. and Bobby Massie grade out as average at best. Leno Jr., a seventh-round pick in 2014, has started 29 of the last 32 games for the Bears at left tackle, while Massie started slowly in his first season with the Bears after signing in free agency. Both are steady starters, but neither has tremendous upside and both could be moved out of the starting lineup for the right kind of tackle prospect. It’s not as if the Bears couldn’t use some reinforcements on the offensive line, which ranked in the middle of the pack.
Chicago added a depth piece this offseason when it signed offensive lineman Tom Compton, but had its eyes on a bigger prize before the Detroit Lions snagged right tackle Bobby Wagner in free agency. Even though there isn’t a clear cut top tackle prospect worth taking with the third overall pick, the Bears could find a potential bargain in the middle rounds.