Going into the off-season, Bears pundits and fans were clamoring for Phil Emery to address the offensive line and linebacker to upgrade those positions. After firing Lovie Smith and hiring offensive guru Marc Trestman, the Bears addressed those positions in free agency in addition to bringing in in playmaking tight end Martellus Bennett.
As they entered the draft, the Bears needed to add more depth to LB and the OL. They appeared to have done that by opening the draft with offensive lineman Kyle Long from Oregon and Linebacker Jonathan Bostic from Florida. They added more depth at OL and LB later in the draft and appeared to get a late round steal at Wide Receiver. Here is a look at the newest Bears.
Kyle Long G Oregon 6’6 313, Round 1 Pick 20
It’s well known by now the Long is the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long and the brother of Rams All-Pro Defensive Lineman Howie Long. He only played one season at Oregon and did not become a starter until week nine. He quickly learned his position though and when the Bears picked him 20th, he became the highest drafted offensive lineman in school history.
With only one season of major college football under his belt, Long is still developing. The NFL Network’s Mike Mayock has him pencilled in at guard, moving to tackle with experience. Mayock is very excited about his potential “"He's one of my favorite players in the draft. He's immediately a starting guard that down the road is a starting tackle.”
Long worked with former Bears offensive line coach Tony Wise during practice at the Senior Bowl and now comes to the Bears with Aaron Kromer as the offensive coordinator and line coach. Although the pick was criticized, Long will be expected to compete for a starting job as soon as he steps on the field in training camp.
Jonathan Bostic LB Florida 6’1 245, Round 2 Pick 50
Bostic was All-Sec his last two years in Gainesville. He finished his collegiate career with 237 tackles, and had 19.0 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, seven pass breakups, five interceptions and two forced fumbles. He was the leader of a junior dominated defense.
In a remade linebacker corps with Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach gone, Bostic should have a chance to compete for a starting spot opposite Lance Briggs and newcomer D.J. Williams. According to Mayock, Bostic is “a hammer..especially against the run”
Khaseem Greene LB Rutgers 6’1 241 Round 4, Pick 117
Green is a converted safety. He was named a first team All-American by ESPN.Com and the Walter Camp Foundation. He is the two-time Big East defensive player of the year at linebacker and was second team all conference at safety as a sophomore.
Greene finished his Rutgers career with 387 tackles, 30.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. His NFL.Com draft profile says that “Consistently goes for the strip or takes a strong punch at the ball” That would have fit the Lovie Smith regime perfectly. With Tillman and Briggs et.al still around, that should be a welcome aspect of Greene’s game. He should fit the Bears schemes perfectly as NFL.Com also says he is the prototypical 4-3 weakside linebacker
Jordan Mills OT Louisiana Tech 6’5 316 Round 5, 163rd Pick
It’s clear that between the free agency and the draft, Phil Emery is hell bent on fixing the Bears offensive line and depth at linebacker. Mills projects as a swing tackle, but only played guard and right tackle at La. Tech.
He is an athletic player that was first team All-Wac as a Senior. He started all 25 games in his junior and senior seasons after starting nine games combined as a freshman and sophomore. Mills earned three letters in basketball in high school and also threw the shot put.
NFL.Com said about Mills “Mills has tremendous size and power in his upper and lower body. Mills is always hustling” OptimumScouting.Com ranked Mills as the 14th best tackle in this class.
Cornelius Washington DE Georgia 6’4 265 Round 6, 188th Pick
Washington was a labeled an underachiever at Georgia. Many of the draft experts expected him to be a second round pick. Some are saying the Bears got a steal. His slide down the draft board was the biggest surprise according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper via the Chattanooga Times Free Press “ He's got too much talent to last to the sixth round, but when people get that underachiever label, sometimes that hurts you”
Washington is an example of the workout warrior whose combined stats impressed more than performance on the field. The Times Free Press listed Washington’s Combine numbers as 4.55 seconds in the 40 yard dash, 36 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press and a vertical jump of 39 inches.
On the field, he compiled only 22 tackles and a half a sack. He increased his tackles from 17 in 2011, but he had five sacks as a junior and his tackles for loss went down from six to three. The biggest highlight of his senior season was a blocked Alabama field goal in the third quarter of the SEC championship game. Rams first round draft pick Alec Ogletree returned the block for a touchdown.
With depth at defensive line, Washington could have an uphill battle in spite of his talent. Israel Idonije is currently a free agent and unlikely to be back. Corey Wooten and 2012 first round pick Shea McClellin will likely battle in training for the starting position opposite Julius Peppers.
Marquess Wilson WR Washington State 6’3 194, Round 7, Pick 326
Wilson could wind up being one of the biggest steals in the 2013 draft. He slid because he quit the team at Washington State nine games into the 2012 season. He was suspended from the team “reportedly for walking out of a physical conditioning session” according to NFL.Com.
Wilson was an all PAC-12 performer as a sophomore and set school receiving records in 2011. He finished his three plus seasons in the Palouse with 189 receptions for 3207 yards and 23 touchdowns.
With not much depth at receiver beyond Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett, it would be a surprise at this point if Wilson does not make the team. He will have to become a contributor on special teams and the return game to solidify his position.