Chicago Bears: Interesting position battles to watch this offseason

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Rashaad Coward
Chicago Bears (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears fan’s most intriguing camp battle.

The last two position battles that Ryan Pace talked about were quarterback, which I am going to leave for another day and right guard. Pace did not get into the specific os the right guard position, but we know that the leading candidates are Rashaad Coward and German Ifedi.

However, I wouldn’t rule out the two seventh-round draft selections in Lachavious Simmons and Arlington Hambright. Seventh-round picks are usually a long shot, but most teams don’t invest in offensive lineman that late in the draft. Ryan Pace has not been shy about doing things out of the box.  Ryan Pace started with drafting high ceiling low floor talents early when he was first hired as the Chicago Bears general manager.

Pace later changed his approach to drafting high floor caliber players early and risky high ceiling meager floor prospects late on day three. Now, Ryan Pace has taken the approach to draft a small-school talent offensive line talent and another who fell off the reader because he transferred schools and missed his chance to show his abilities at any of the all-star games and NFL combine. While the two seventh-round draft selections are long shots, they are calculated attacks that might pan out earlier then any would expect.

Rashaad Coward was a converted defensive lineman that was supposed to work at playing tackle on the right side was forced inside when Kyle Long finally had to hang up his cleats.  Coward had a paltry 38.0 pass-blocking PFF grade and a less than honorable 60.5 run-blocking grade.

Who is to say that doesn’t improve now that he would be looking at being actively used more often and got a taste of live NFL defenders coming at him day in and day out? Germain Ifedi was the starting tackle for the Seattle Seahawks. Ifedi played right guard for the Seahawks his rookie year before slowly being pushed out to tackle.

It was to my surprise that Seattle didn’t put him back inside and draft a tackle to replace him on the outside. In 2016 as a rookie, Ifedi had an awful 35.7 pass-blocking PFF grade but surprised with a 68.8 run-blocking grade.

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He reversed those scores in his sophomore year as he began to transition to tackle but had 10 more penalties. If ifedi can keep the consistency of his first three years in blocking efficiency but lower his penalties, he could be the front runner up to be the future guard for the Chicago Bears.