Bears Emphasize Value On Day Two Of The Draft
First the Bears traded down with Buffalo from 41st overall back to 49th overall when it appears they lost out on either Noah Spence or Chris Jones as many have speculated. Whatever the reason for the trade the Bears got an extra 4th round pick in the 2017 draft in addition to swapping their 2nd round picks, and the 49th overall in this years draft. Than they might have missed out on another player (assumed to be Indiana offensive tackle Jason Spriggs by many) who was picked by divisional rival Green Bay.
My thinking was they saw Green Bay pick Spriggs, and traded down knowing all the teams ahead of them Wouldn’t be picking their target all along and figured they’d get another pick plus the guy they wanted. Again whatever the thought process they traded their 49th overall for the Seahawks 56th overall and in addition get the Seahawks 4th rounder (126th).
With that pick the Bears than selected Kansas State Offensive Lineman Cody Whitehair who most thought was the best guard in the draft. As a matter of fact Pro Football Focus had him rated the top left tackle in the nation in 2015, and best overall lineman period. Many had him going anywhere from the high teens to the high 20’s in the first round. That’s great value for the 56th overall pick in the draft.
Make no mistake this is a pick made with him starting in mind. The offensive line will have a new look this year. Not sure how the shuffle will manifest itself, but some scenarios can have them Moving Long to Left tackle and making Leno the swing tackle, Move Slauson to center or cut him, and keep Grasu in there, or move Grassu out as the swing interior lineman, put Slauson at center, move Whitehair to LG and Keep Long right where he’s at. Either way There are only 3 sure starters and one of them is Whitehair unless something unforeseen happens.
Than going into the 3rd round the Bears decided to keep this one and make an actual pick and with that pick select their other starting Defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard. Not only will he fill the Bears need for a 5 technique, but he’ll kick down to under-tackle in their sub sets.
Pace certainly has emphasized the trenches in his two first drafts and this one still has more to go. One thing for sure the competition in training camp will be fierce. As it stands the Bears have. Eddie Goldman, Aikem Hicks, Ego Ferguson, Will Sutton, Mitch Unrein, Cornelius Washington, Bruce Gaston, Keith Browner, Jonathan Bullard, Greg Scruggs, D’Anthony Smith, and Terry Williams on the roster competing for defensive line jobs.
On the other side of the line of scrimmage Bears will have Nick Becton, Cornelius Edison, Tayo Fabuluje, Hroniss Grasu, Ted Larsen, Charles Leno, Kyle Long, Bobbie Massie, Manny Ramirez, Matt Slauson, Martin Wallace, and Cody Whitehair fighting for jobs along the offensive line.
And this with 7 more picks coming plus the UDFA crop.