How was offensive lineman Tom Compton’s stock affected by his first performance in the preseason?
Compton was a free agent signee from the Atlanta Falcons. Compton was typically a swing tackle, and many assumed this is where he would be competing for his job. However, he does have some experience at guard, and in the first preseason game, this is where Compton was able to establish himself for the Bears.
The Bears guard position is currently extremely fluid. Kyle Long has not practiced since ankle surgery ended his season in 2016. It was no surprise he was inactive for the first preseason game. On top of that, their backup guard Eric Kush tore his hamstring is out for the entire season.
It left many questioning who would fill in at guard. Can Hroniss Grasu slide over? Would Cody Whitehair slide to guard, pushing Grasu into the starting spot at center? What about a lower end player such as Cyril Richardson? The answer was none of the above, and it was the tackle Tom Compton stepping in.
Compton did not look bad at all. In fact, next to Charles Leno, Compton at guard had the better night. This would be a huge step forward for Compton making the roster. He moved to right tackle as well, and his versatility and ability to step in at potentially every offensive line position are going to be strong cases for keeping him on the roster.
Long is unlikely to play any preseason snaps this year, so it could mean a ton of starting work for Compton is his place. What the Bears thought of his performance, and how much experience they want to get him at guard should be noted moving forward, but the arrow is currently pointing up for the sixth year lineman.