Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace Evolution: Center

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22: Cody Whitehair
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22: Cody Whitehair /

How has the Chicago Bears center position evolved under Ryan Pace?

Ryan Pace is set to enter year four as the Chicago Bears General Manager. He now has his hands involved in every big decision to be made at every position on the roster. With that said, this is a good time to look back at what Ryan Pace inherited, and see how he has evolved the position in terms of depth and starter talent.

We have looked at his quarterback room, running back room, wide receiver room, tight end room, tackle, and guard room. Now, the center position.


Hroniss Grasu, Will Montgomery

Without Roberto Garza, Pace was quick to identify the hole at the position. He drafted Grasu in the third round. Grasu jumped in as a starter and played well in his first season with the team.

Montgomery was signed as a veteran who could hold down the depth and help with the young Grasu.


Cody Whitehair, Hroniss Grasu

An injury to Hroniss Grasu early into the offseason put the Chicago Bears in a position to push Cody Whitehair to center. The Bears were fortunate enough to add Josh Sitton as well to make the move a no brainer.

Whitehair was excellent in 2016, and everything that Grasu did well in 2015 seemed to was away from everyone’s memories. Whitehair was a clear upgrade moving forward.

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Cody Whitehair, Hroniss Grasu

With Grasu coming back from injury the team was in a good spot. They did not necessarily decide on their longterm intentions with Grasu as they had the “easing him back from injury” excuse.

One note that emerged which really hurt the stock of Grasu was that he struggled to transition to guard, even in a depth capacity. Grasu had chances to see the field at guard in 2017, but his struggles forced the team to decide between moving Whitehair off of the position he thrived in the year prior, or moving a tackle such as Bradley Sowell inside to guard.


Cody Whitehair, Hroniss Grasu, Dejon Allen

The lack of versatility that Grasu has presents the idea that the team could be moving on. James Daniels and Eric Kush can both play center if needed, but are also guards. On top of that, Dejon Allen is an interesting UDFA candidate.

He is a former tackle recruit who translates more into center. The team could keep him as a development bet with versatility to play all over the line while having adequate backup depth at center. Stay tuned.