Kyle long at Bears Rookie Minicamp May 10, 2013
58 days until Bears hit the field against the Cincinnati Bengals. Bears selected 5 players in the 2013 NFL draft. Each one of them filling a glaring need on the depth chart. Based off of raw talent and college career production, lets evaluate each players potential on making an impact in their rookie season
Does Kyle Long, the Bears first round pick (20th overall), have the opportunity to make an immediate impact?Kyle Long has the best opportunity on making an immediate impact after Gabe Carimi was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Which makes a little more sense on why he missed OTAs for the sake of 'rehabbing' down in Florida. Emery has made it clear that protecting Cutler is the #1 priority. Something that Angelo "tried" doing during his tenure, which by the way still blows my mind that he was head honcho during the 2005 Super Bowl Run.
So Emery selected the best available O-lineman in the draft, but was immediately criticized by ESPN analysts and national scouts saying Long was too early of a pick. Why though? What does Bears management know that the all-powerful and all-knowing analysts do not?
What we didn't know was his limitless ceiling. Bears management, coaching staff, and team scouts saw something in Long outside of the 11 college games he played in Oregon to take him 20th overall.
According to Dan Pompei:
"Going into his senior year, recruiting analyst Tom Lemming rated him the fifth-best lineman in the country. Among those who came through St. Anne's-Belfield High School in Charlottesville asking for a moment of his time were Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis and Florida's Urban Meyer. He had 55 football scholarship offers."
Now that Gabe Carimi has been traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Long instantly jumps up the depth chart. Long would have battled Carimi for a starting spot, but now it is his to lose. Edwin Williams will give him a run for his money which will create healthy competition at Bourbonnais.
Luckily for us, Long has flown under the radar for national scouts to skip over him. Phil Emery's drafting strategy has been unconventional, to put lightly. Both of his first round selections the past two years were players that experts had going in later rounds. So far it's looking like a blessing in disguise for the Bears that Kyle Long pursued baseball over football starting out in college. He easily could have been a lottery pick if it was reversed.
Long's impact could possibly be noticed immediately if he does win out the starting guard position. Bears fans, get used to seeing this kid pull out into the field with Matt Forte and lay some wicked licks on the likes of players like Clay Matthews. Can't wait!!