At this point of the offseason, things are finally starting to settle down. The NFL Draft and free agency periods are a thing of the past, and teams have finally begun to plow ahead – acclimating rookies, newcomers, and returning players to playbooks ahead of this summer’s training camps. And yet, every team – very much including the Chicago Bears – still has unaddressed needs.
But at least they’re not alone.
Over at Pro Football Focus, John Kosko offers up every NFC team’s biggest remaining need, and while it’s hard to limit the Chicago Bears to one, Kosko does just that with the offensive line (specifically, offensive tackle).
The Bears enter 2017 with Charles Leno Jr. and Bobby Massie atop the depth chart at left and right tackle, respectively. Unfortunately, neither graded well by PFF’s standards: Leno Jr. comes in as the 41st rated tackle and Massie finishes 43rd (among the 76 qualifiers). In addition, neither posted excellent pass blocking grades, as they were tied for 35th and 38th respectively.
Both Leno Jr. and Massie grade out as average when they play at their best, but that won’t really be enough, considering the team’s attempts to develop quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky, and, to a lesser extent, Mike Glennon.
Pro Football Focus handed the Bears’ pass blocking unit the sixth highest grade in 2016, something that could help Glennon (or Trubisky, for that matter) feel more comfortable when dropping back to pass. Still, it’s hard not to have at least the slightest bit of concern knowing the tackles are still perceived as an area of weakness – even if the line projects to be solid up the middle.