The Chicago Bears’ offseason of talent acquisition has one more – very important step: The 2018 NFL Draft.
After GM Ryan Pace made moves to add Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton, Aaron Lynch, and others in free agency, the organization’s focus shifts to adding more young talent to the roster through the draft.
Despite an active free agency period, the Bears still have many needs. We’re going to look at some of the best prospects at various positions of interest leading up to the draft.
Today: Offensive line
Currently on the Roster (2017 Pro Football Focus Grade):
- Charles Leno Jr. (80.4)
- Cody Whitehair (74.2)
- Kyle Long (73.0)
- Bobby Massie (69.9)
- Bradley Sowell (40.5)
- Hroniss Grasu (31.5)
- Earl Watford (36.7)
- Cameron Lee (no grade)
- Did not play in 2017: Eric Kush, Jordan Morgan, Brandon Greene, Will Pericak,
Pro Football Focus’ Top-5 Tackle Prospects:
- Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
- Connor Williams, Texas
- Jamarco Jones, Ohio State
- Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
- Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
Best of the Rest: Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh; Kolton Miller, UCLA; Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State; Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan
Pro Football Focus’ Top-5 Interior Line Prospects:
- Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame (No. 1 guard)
- Frank Ragnew, Arkansas (No. 1 center)
- Isaiah Wynn, Georgia (No. 2 guard)
- Billy Price, Ohio State (No. 2 center)
- Will Hernandez, UTEP (No. 3 guard)
Best of the Rest: Will Clapp, LSU; Austin Corbett, Nevada; James Daniels, Iowa; Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech; Braden Smith, Auburn
The Bears could start Eric Kush at left guard if Cody Whitehair sticks at center in 2018. But if they believe Whitehair’s long-term future is at guard, Hroniss Grasu could get the nod at center. Any way it’s sliced, Chicago could use an upgrade at the position – one who could be a long-term anchor in front of Mitch Trubisky. As for the need at tackle, the Bears could do better than Bobby Massie. While Massie has been mostly durable during his stint in Chicago, he has just one year left on his contract. Finding a long-term solution wouldn’t be the worst idea.
Most Likely to be Available When the Bears Are on the Clock:
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Quenton Nelson.
But if Nelson is off the board and the team decides to move back in the draft, a player like Mike McGlinchey, Isaiah Wynn, or Will Hernandez could move to the top of their board.
The Bears Have Reportedly Met With…
Guards: Stefan Beard, UTSA; Matthew Gono, Wesley; Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Tackles: Brett Toth, Army; Joe Kupcikevicius, Azusa Pacific; Jamar McGloster, Syracuse; BRandon Parker, North Carolina A&T
Centers: James Daniels, Iowa
If I Had to Pick One:
Bears fans would probably hate the idea of taking a player with a recent injury history, but Ohio State center/guard Billy Price is the kind of player worth making an exception for in this class. If Nelson is off the board when Chicago is on the clock with the No. 8 pick, Price could represent a Day 2 steal. Price was an All-Big Ten guard in 2016 and All-American center in 2017, but a torn pectoral muscle might be enough to drop him out of the first-round. He is expected to be healthy enough to take part in training camp, which would make a player with his skills and accomplishments a steal if he falls into the second round.