Charles Leno Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener


The Bear Goggles On Countdown to Kickoff series continues with a profile on Chicago Bears back-up offensive lineman, #72 Charles Leno. This means there are 72 days until the Bears open the regular season against the Green Bay Packers. I know, it seems that the regular season will never get here, but we have you covered in the meantime.

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The Bears drafted Leno in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Boise State University. Leno was a major part of many excellent Boise State teams, being their starting right tackle as a sophomore in 2011, before taking over the left tackle position full-time throughout 2012 and 2013. Leno was very good at left tackle for Boise State, bringing in Second-Team All-Mountain West Conference honors as a junior, and First-Team All-MWC honors as a senior.

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Most scouts believed that Leno would have to kick inside to guard at the NFL level, causing him to slip all the way to the seventh round, albeit in a loaded draft class.

Leno moves extremely well for a guy who stands 6-foot-4, 303 pounds, and his extremely long arms (34 3/8″) give him an edge in pass protection on the outside. With good footwork and mobility, excellent length and experience at the position, count me down as someone who believes in Leno’s ability to play tackle at the NFL level.

While his skills are certainly raw, Leno has the talent to make an impact for the Bears at the tackle position. His mix of athleticism and quick feet should entice the new Bears’ coaching staff enough to at least give him a chance on the outside.

Also, while he has always lacked power which caused him to struggle as a run blocker at times in the past, Leno is suited well for the Bears’ new system in the rushing attack. New offensive coordinator Adam Gase is bringing his zone system to the Bears, and Leno’ impressive quickness and footwork makes him a great fit for the zone run blocking system.

When it comes down to it, the Bears did not see great production out of their offensive tackles last season. Both Jermon Bushrod and Jordan Mills struggled last season, and neither player seems to be as good of a fit for the Bears’ new system as Leno. I am not saying that the team should completely give up on Bushrod and Mills, but if they cannot turn their play from last season around, Leno is a nice back-up option.

His skills are certainly raw, but Leno has the measurables to succeed as a tackle in the NFL. If Bushrod falters again this season, I would love to see Leno get an opportunity to take the left tackle position and run. If it does not work out, let him try the right side, if it does work; the Bears may have found their new left tackle for the next five-plus seasons.

Next: Bears' Five Most Important Offensive Backups

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