Think back to before the Bears were aware that linebackers Nick Roach and Brian Urlacher would not return to the team for the 2013 season. The overwhelming need for the Bears at that point was on the offensive line. While the team did sign offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod from the New Orleans Saints, there still was a need for the Bears to improve the offensive line with a young draft selection. Then once the departures of Urlacher and Roach were official, the focus for the Bears turned from the offensive line to the linebacker position. That would be why many draft experts and reporters predicted that the Bears would address the linebacker position with their 20th overall selection in the first round.
Nonetheless, with the Bears’ 20th overall selection in the NFL Draft, Bears’ general manager Phil Emery decided to address the Bears’ initial need at offensive line with the drafting of former Oregon offensive guard Kyle Long.
Once one moves beyond the initial surprise factor of the Bears’ selection of Long, one would discover that selection makes sense for the team. The hiring of Marc Trestman as the Bears’ head coach signaled one thing for the team, and that is that the Bears are transitioning from being a defensive team to an offensive team. With the new identity as an offensive team, that puts added importance on quarterback Jay Cutler–who is entering the final year of his contract with the team. With the added importance on Cutler, it means the contributions from the offensive line will need to be much more significant going forward. A quality offensive line is the key to keeping Cutler standing upright on the field and not on the sideline holding a clipboard dealing with an injury. That is why the selection of Long was the right selection for the Bears in the first round.
Vote on whether or not you think Long was the right selection for the Bears and then expand upon your vote in the comments section.