The pass protection for the 2011 Chicago Bears was comically bad at times. It provided a color by numbers national narrative for various media outlets during every Bears game. The Bears were giving up sacks, pressures, and QB knockdowns at an alarming rate. It made the off season pre-draft narrative easy for those same media outlets.
The Bears need to get younger on the o-line, and they need to draft at least a couple offensive linemen.
Then draft day came, and it was lining up for the Bears to select the best guard prospect in, like a really long time, and ensure them of 10+ years of pro bowls by Stanford's David DeCastro. But the Bears passed, and drafted a defensive end.
Then they traded up for a wide out.
Then the Bears picked a corner turned safety, followed by a tight end turned fullback.
Then Phil Emery put a bow on his first ever draft class by taking two corners.
O-line, o-line, where art thou o-line...
Enter James Brown, unrestricted free agent extraordinaire, and collegiate left tackle who fell out of the draft because of a rumored taste for the cheeba.
And that was it. Now it could be argued that the Bears kinda got a 3rd round prospect by signing Brown, and I kinda did argue that right here: Can James Brown be the starting left guard for the Chicago Bears in 2013?, but that's besides the point. Phil Emery didn't have any offensive linemen rated high enough to pick at any of his six picks.
Which brings me to this off season. The Bears pass pro wasn't as bad as the previous year, something I showed during my Sackwatch series, but it was sill bad. Bad enough that Phil Emery went out and made some additions to the roster:
LT Jermon Bushrod
G Matt Slauson
C Taylor Boggs
G/T Eben Britton
He also re-signed tackle Jonathon Scott, and elected to pass on his own free agents guards, Lance Louis, Chris Spencer, and Chilo Rachal.
J'Marcus Webb was shifted to right tackle, and Cabe Carimi (who is not a bust by the way) was shifted to compete at guard, and you can make a strong case that the o-line is in much better shape now than it was last off season.
And since last off season the Bears passed on the o-line, my guess is they'll pass on the o-line this year.
The Bears have talked to some o-line prospects at the combine, the All Star games, the pro days, and at private meetings, so they've had interest in the big guys. However there has been no contact reported between the Bears and Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper, or Larry Warford, who are the top three guard prospects in the draft.
I would love to see a interior line prospect drafted at some point, I just don't see them drafting any this year.
Then again, this could all be a smokescreen, and if Warmack or Cooper are available at 20, Emery could pull the trigger.
April 25th can't get here fast enough...