November 24, 2012; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins cornerback Sheldon Price (22) looks on as Stanford Cardinal tight end Zach Ertz (86) catches a pass in the fourth quarter of the game at the Rose Bowl. Stanford won 35-17. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Draft: Chicago Bears Strongly Interested in Zach Ertz


The Chicago Bears have long been in need of a tight end since the day that the team traded Greg Olsen to the Carolina Panthers. Over the course of the past two seasons, Bears fans were made to believe that tight end Kellen Davis was something that he wasn’t–a legitimate tight end. Davis is now with the Cleveland Browns, and the Bears have signed former New York Giants’ tight end Martellus Bennett to be legitimate threat for the team’s offense this season. However, with the way NFL offenses are taking shape–as made famous by the New England Patriots–a successful offense is one that features two tight end sets.

That is why former Stanford tight end Zach Ertz is among the final group of players that the Bears are focusing in on for their first round selection. The Bears hold the 20th overall selection in the first round, and Ertz has been projected to be a late-first round or early-second round draft pick. According to Michael C. Wright of ESPN Chicago, the Bears have genuine interest in Ertz and the tight end is very much in play to be the Bears’ selection in the first round.

Ertz is ranked as the second best tight end in the 2013 NFL Draft. Former Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert is ranked as the top tight end in the draft, however, some scouts project Ertz to be the better player in the NFL. It is likely that the Bears have Eifert valued higher than Ertz but realize that the former Stanford tight end is more likely to be available when they are on the clock with the 20th overall selection.

Ertz compiled 898 yards and 6 touchdowns on 69 receptions for Stanford during the 2012 season. The downside to Ertz is that the tight end is considered to be a work in progress when it comes to being a blocking tight end. Though, this is the reason why two tight end sets are becoming popular in the NFL. While Ertz still needs to develop his blocking skills, Bennett earned a reputation early in his career for being a blocking tight end. Meaning that Ertz and Bennett could represent as a compliment to one another.

While the idea of having a legitimate two tight end set is appealing for the Bears, given the other needs for the team, the team may be more inclined to draft a linebacker with their first round selection. Nonetheless, if the linebackers the Bears have focused on are no longer available, then Ertz may indeed be the team’s selection.

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Tags: 2013 Nfl Draft Chicago Bears Stanford Zach Ertz