The NFL’s league meetings are taking place in Arizona, and as is often the case, some outside-of-the-box ideas are shared publicly.
And apparently, the creative thinking has spilled over to the teams themselves.
Matt Nagy says there is a possibility Cody Whitehair and James Daniels could switch positions.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 26, 2019
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets that the Chicago Bears aren’t ruling out a position swap that would move center Cody Whitehair to guard and James Daniels (currently listed as the team’s top left guard) over to center. In theory, this position swap isn’t as crazy as you might otherwise think.
Whitehair was drafted as a guard in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, but shifted to center out of necessity. It has been his primary position ever since (and one that he played at a Pro Bowl level in 2018). On the other end of the switch would be Daniels, who was a stand-out center prospect drafted out of Iowa who slid over to the left guard spot because Whitehair was at center (and because the team dropped starter Josh Sitton earlier in the offseason).
If neither player pushes back against a possible switch, then I can see the team moving in that direction. One reason it would make sense to do it now is that both players are still quite familiar with their former positions. Whitehair played guard as recently as 2017, while Daniels was the Bears’ second-team center during the Bears’ five-game preseason. With that in mind, moving each player back to their natural position would make sense.
The Bears had a top-tier offensive line last season and are bringing all of their starters (as well as their top reserve) back into the mix. There isn’t much left to do to improve upon this group beyond adding depth, so perhaps one way to get even more from it is to rearrange two of the pieces. Moving each back to their natural position is a completely sensible idea, though based on how good that group was last year, I could understand it if the team maintained status quo.
Let’s keep an eye on this storyline as it develops over OTAs, mini-camps, and (eventually) training camp.