One of the neat things about being part of SB Nation is the access we have to their various experts throughout the network. If we want more details about the Chicago Bears' next opponent, we'll talk to one of our sister sites. If we want the skinny on the NFL Draft, we'll hit up our draft editor. And if we want some insight on the latest rookie class for the Chicago Bears, we'll go straight to the site that has covered their entire collegiate career.
Recently we had the chance to talk with Drew Roberts of One Bronco Nation Under God, the SB Nation site that covers the Boise St. , about seventh round pick Charles Leno Jr.
Windy City Gridiron - Reserve linemen in the NFL need to have some versatility to their game; was Leno strictly a left tackle at Boise State?
Drew Roberts - Leno played right and left tackle so he definitely has that dexterity, and I know the coaching staff had him play guard from time to time in camp, when needed.
Windy City Gridiron - Many scouts point to his pass protection as a strength; do you agree with that, and how was he as a run blocker?
Drew Roberts - Pass blocking has definitely been a strength of Boise State teams of late. In the two years that Leno spent protecting Kellen Moore, only 12 total sacks were given up. Some of this was due to Moore's pocket awareness, but when Joe Southwick took the helm in 2012, only 7 sacks were allowed and Leno definitely had a hand in that protection package. As a run blocker, I'd say Leno is adequate, but not as solid as his pass protection. However, Boise State did field a 1,000+ yard rusher every year he was in the lineup, so read into that what you will.
Windy City Gridiron - Playing in the Mountain West Conference, did Leno face any top edge rushers, and if so how did he fare?
Drew Roberts - Leno didn't face a wealth of pass rushing talent in the Mountain West, but definitely lined up from some elite defenders in his time as a Bronco. BYU's Kyle Van Noy, Michigan State's William Gholston, Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict, and Nevada's Dontay Moch are a few names that come to mind, and in addition, it's worth noting that he lined up against first rounder Shea McClellin, 2nd rounder Demarcus Lawrence and 3rd rounder Tyrone Crawford in practice day in and day out.
Windy City Gridiron - Bears fans like their offensive linemen with a little attitude to their game. Did Leno play with an edge?
Drew Roberts - Honestly, I couldn't tell you. Leno always seemed a pretty even-keeled player and while many people want to see that "nastiness" from the guard positions, they look more for footwork and athleticism on the edges. Leno may not put defenders on their back every snap, but the QB and RB he's protecting likely won't end up on theirs either.
Windy City Gridiron - Last year the Bears started a rookie 5th round pick at right tackle for 16 games, proving the coaches will go with whomever they feel deserves to start. Do you feel Leno has what it takes to push for a starting job as a rookie?
Drew Roberts - Leno is a hard worker, a smart player, and one that will do whatever is asked of him to contribute. I think Leno's athleticism and football IQ should definitely put him in position to make an immediate impact if he's fortunate enough to get the opportunity.
Thanks again to Drew Roberts of One Bronco Nation Under God!