Bears Depth Chart: Center

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

Player to Watch: Hroniss Grasu (6’3 | 303 | 5.10)

It wasn’t the year that the Bears or Grasu expected in 2015, but it wasn’t a total loss either. Grasu gained his teammates respect despite the struggles in Kansas City, but injuries kept halting any momentum he built as a team leader.

Coming out of college, Grasu was my #1 rated center and had all the tools looked for in a starting NFL center. He’s usually the smartest player on the field, reads defenses quickly, can direct traffic effectively, pulls as well as any o-linemen on the roster, crushes defenders on the 2nd level, has a good base in pass pro, and has a natural talent for using leverage to seal off rushing lanes. The one trait Grasu was missing last season was strength. He was physically over-matched, sometimes comically so, and that negated a lot of Grasu’s other natural gifts.

If Grasu spent the offseason in the weight room and has added the bulk to hold his own against NFL defensive tackles, then he has the ability to be a Pro Bowl caliber center and the core of a Bears offensive line that could make major strides in 2016. If Grasu hasn’t added the necessary strength than the line could collapse from the inside without an established backup at center. There is a lot riding on Grasu this season, which makes him a player to watch in 2016.