Here is *EXACTLY* What the Bears Are Looking For in an Offensive Tackle
It isn’t often to hear a front office member of an NFL team lays out an answer as plainly as Bears Assistant GM Ian Cunningham did on Tuesday.
In meeting with the media at Halas Hall, Cunningham actually presented what Chicago’s football team was looking for in an offensive tackle. Considering the Bears’ position picking ninth tomorrow and the team’s need to fill an ever-present void at right tackle, this feels worth sharing:
“First, you can say the size and athleticism and his competitive spirit, how he plays down-in and down-out,” Cunningham said, via Larry Mayer. “Growing up in Baltimore, we had some really good players there and really good tackles. That’s kind of where I cut my teeth and kind of learned how to evaluate. A lot of those guys which we played with there were kind of cut from that similar cloth.”
There you have it. The Bears’ assistant general manager just laid out what the team was looking for in a prospect at a position of need. That doesn’t happen every day, so let’s not take this for granted. But what can we takeaway from this?
Firstly, all of our favorite offensive line candidates are in play. That means Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr., Tennessee’s Darnell Wright, Georgia’s Broderick Jones, and even Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski could be a Bears target. All of those prospects have size, athleticism, competitive spirit, and an ability to get after it on every down.
Secondly, Cunningham is ready to draw inspiration from his past to help the Bears bolster their line via the draft. Not only are the Ravens and Eagles franchises known for drafting well, but they also end to do well in drafting linemen. This leads me to what might be the most important takeaway: Addressing the O-line needs throughout the NFL Draft weekend. Offensive line needs shouldn’t be a priority just on Day 1. If Cunningham truly plans on channeling his B-more and Philly days, then Chicago’s front office will be unearthing offensive line prospects in all sorts of rounds. Players like Orlando Brown, Landon Dickerson, and Jason Kelce were taken at various points in the draft by Baltimore and Philadelphia’s organizations. It’s almost as if throwing darts at the board in volume can be helpful.
There is a reason Baltimore and Philadelphia are steadily in contention on a year-in, year-out basis. Yes, the skill position talent level is on another level compared to where the Bears have been. But it all begins in the trenches. When teams scuffle, you can often point to the offensive line. Chicago’s team has been scuffling for years. And it’s no coincidence that we can say the same about its line. So what better time than tomorrow than to start fixing it? Go get ’em, gents.