Does Bradley Sowell have what it takes to make the Bears final roster this summer?
The Bears offensive line has not been a team strength recently. On the interior, talent is there. Injury shuffled some things around, but in 2017, the Bears interior line looks fine on paper. The tackle position, however, looks like a mess.
Many expected the Bears to address this position at some point in the offseason. The team did not touch the position during free agency, which left many thinking it would be hit hard in the draft. When the draft came and went without a single tackle option selected, more questions around depth and talent grew. This is a roster that had just three tackles currently signed before the draft. That is why it is no surprise to see that the team finally addressed the position and signed Bradley Sowell to a one-year deal. However, most names who sign this late into the process are looked at as camp bodies, and long shots to make the actual 53-man roster. Does the Bears situation and need for tackle give him a legitimate chance to make the team?
Sowell is not the most talented or experienced tackle out there, but he has 21 starts and five NFL seasons under his belt. While he was clearly a last second option and was not their top priority, there is a good chance that Sowell can make the roster. As mentioned, this is not a deep position by any means. Charles Leno and Bobbie Massie are locks to make the team, and that is it. William Poehls was with the team last year but was not active for a single game.
The team signed Dieugot Joseph and Mitchell Kirsch as undrafted free agents, but do they really have a better shot than a five-year veteran? Jordan Morgan was drafted, but will likely make the team as a guard.
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Sowell has not done anything in his limited starting time to earn any sort of job opportunity. A roster spot will not be handed to him. However, if the roster had to be set today, there is a good chance that Sowell would be looked at as the third most trusted option, and the first backup tackle. Sowell will need a good performance in training camp and the preseason to lock in his spot, but the odds are currently in his favor when it comes to making the team’s final 53-man roster.