The Chicago Bears’ weekend at the NFL Draft might have left some puzzled by their early-round selections, but all things considered, taking a flier on this late-round sleeper might make the most sense of the team’s weekend picks.
I’m talking, of course, about the Bears fifth-round pick and new offensive lineman, Jordan Morgan.
Even though the Bears had a need to draft a tackle, they didn’t pluck one earlier in the draft. Instead, the team chose a four-year starting left tackle who the team projects to move inside. It’s not as if the Bears had a need for a starting interior lineman, but adding depth and upside at a minor cost and with minimal risk is what fifth-round picks are all about.
Here is what Pro Football Focus’ Jordan Plocher had to say about the Bears’ newest addition:
“Morgan is a small-school player who received a Senior Bowl invite and played well in Mobile. Morgan didn’t allow a sack, only one QB hit, and one hurry on his 22 pass-blocking snaps in the Senior Bowl, showing he can compete at the highest levels.”
As it turns out, Morgan was the only player coached by the Bears at the Senior Bowl who ended up drafted by the team.
THE PICK (ROUND 5, PICK 147)
- Name: Jordan Morgan
- College: Kutztown University (Pennsylvania)
- Position: Offensive tackle/offensive guard
- Height, weight, hand size, arm length: 6-foot-3, 309 pounds, 10 inches, 34-5/8 inches
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
- 2016 stats: 11 games, 57 catches 867 yards, 16 touchdowns
- 2015 stats: 11 games, 70 catches, 803 yards, 10 touchdowns
- 2016 Pro Football Focus Scouting Grade: Not available
NFL COMBINE RESULTS
- Bench press: 21 reps
- 40-yard dash: 5.36 seconds
- Vertical jump: 27 inches
- Broad jump: 102 inches
- 3-cone drill: 8.13 seconds
- 20-yard shuttle: 4.73 seconds
- Size matters. Morgan didn’t fit the perceived profile of a Division II athlete while playing at Kutztown and has grown into the frame of a pro caliber offensive lineman since stepping on campus.
- Experience. After taking a redshirt in 2012, Morgan stepped in and started at left tackle for four years. Two-time Div. II First-Team All-American. First offensive lineman in conference history to win Offensive Player of the Year award.
- Basic blocking skills. Morgan showed plenty of positives as a left tackle. His NFL.com profile lauds his good feet, aggressive on field demeanor, and overall sound technique. That seems like a good base to start with from a fifth-round pick with minimal high-end experience against college football’s best.
- Lack of experience against top level of competition. Being a dominant Division II athlete is exactly what you want to see out of a player of Morgan’s talent level, but that still leaves a lot to be desired out of a player who simply hasn’t experienced the toughest rigors of college football.
- Run blocking technique. Morgan can still refine his skills in the run game and as an all around lineman, but that is to be expected out of a fifth-round pick who played at Division II.
- Adjustments. Not only will Morgan be making the move up in level of competition, he will also be moving positions as the Bears see his future as an interior lineman.
NFL.COM COMPARISON: Hugh Thornton
WHERE MORGAN FITS
The middle of the Bears’ line is starting to get a bit crowded. In addition to starters Josh Sitton, Cody Whitehair, and Kyle Long, the Bears also have reserves Eric Kush, Tom Compton, and Taylor Boggs in the fold. Adding Morgan to the mix helps depth, but also creates in-camp competition for the summer.
Like most late-round offensive line prospects, Morgan will have to work his way up from the bottom of the depth chart. He probably won’t be of much help this year or next unless the team gets wrecked by injuries. However, he could work his way into a starting role by his third year if he meets the expectations of his projections. By then, both of the Bears’ starting guards will be in their 30s. If Morgan develops ahead of schedule, perhaps moving him into the middle of the line and pushing Long or Whitehair out to tackle would make for a logical step.
NFL DRAFT VIDEO PROFILE