With their final pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Bears took offensive tackle Charles Leno, Jr. out of Boise State. He was selected with the 246th overall pick. And guess what? He has been their starting left tackle for 30 out of 38 games since he was drafted. Yes folks, a seventh-round pick is the starting left tackle for an NFL team.
Leno has actually done a lot of good for the Bears and while he hasn’t been “spectacular” he has been solid. In addition, he has been consistent. Leno started all 16 games last season in a year in which the Bears sidelines represented a MASH unit. Consistency is his middle name.
There has been talk that it is time to look for a replacement for Leno, but the Bears haven’t’ done that so far this off-season. In fact, there really haven’t been any whispers of them looking for a replacement for him either in free agency or in the NFL Draft. Could the Bears be content with him as their left tackle at least for 2017?
Right now, he is healthy and that matters a lot to the Bears.
Leno graded out fair to average for the most part in 2016 but the Bears could use some improvement at the position. They could, however, wait another year until his contract runs out and then sign another left tackle with more potential and skill. Right now, it’s hard to tell what the Bears will do. It seems like this is not an urgent position of need for them but you never know what the Bears might do in the upcoming draft.
This writer feels that Leno, Jr. could be the best pick out of the 2014 NFL Draft for the Bears He has been the most consistent and the most healthy. Leno hasn’t given the team any trouble and he has been a fixture on the offensive line. If the Bears don’t draft a left tackle this April then he should be able to make the roster and start at the position in 2017. After that, consider his status unknown.