The Bears have a new regime and as any NFL fan will tell you, new regime means new players.
Former general manager Phil Emery had his shortcomings, though he had some success in other areas. One of the areas in which he was successful was overhauling the team's poor offensive line in a short time. The line took a huge step forward in 2013, but took an unfortunate step back in 2014 because of injuries and lack of development by some players.
One of those players was Jordan Mills. Mills, a fifth round pick, was promising as a rookie, anchoring the right tackle position next to then-fellow-rookie Kyle Long. Mills took a step back last season with poor play and technique. Mills has size and ability, he certainly can turn his career around with more coaching and work this offseason, but a new regime could change things.
New regimes bring change. They want their guys, they want players that fit their vision for the schemes they will run.
Former head coach Marc Trestman had a scheme that was good at masking offensive line deficiencies; he came to Chicago with a track record of improving sack-surrendering stats, which he held true to in year one. However, Trestman ran, a west coast offense that was known more as a "finesse" system than a hard-nosed one.
New head coach John Fox prefers a more ground and pound hard-nosed attack. Whether that will change the types of offensive linemen the team employs is yet to be seen, but even so, as much as changing the systems and the schemes, Fox is changing the identity of the Bears.
There is a chance Fox and his staff doesn't think Mills fits this identity.
The Bears could be looking at drafting an offensive linemen later this month. They had luck in taking an Oregon linemen two years ago, so why not take another?
Enter Jake Fisher:
STRENGTHS: Has broad shoulders, long arms and quick, strong hands to latch onto opponents. He's strong enough to catch and control defenders and does a nice job of turning them away from the action. He plays with good knee bend and on the balls of his feet, helping him to anchor and mirror effectively. Fisher is a very effective double-team blocker, releasing from one target to hit another. He is a selfless, passionate and versatile player whose blue-collar style was appreciated by the coaching staff.
WEAKNESSES: More of a technician than an elite athlete and will struggle to handle the speed rushers of the NFL. He does not possess top-notch initial quickness and fluidity in his kick-slide. Struggles to balance and recover if beaten off the ball. Shows the knee-bend to anchor, but can get himself in trouble when his feet stop moving and as he tires and loses the leverage battle.
Jake Fisher could go as high as the late first round, but could also fall into the early second round and be around when the Bears select at No. 39. He's been on the rise since the Combine when he tested well and showed that he was not just a technician who lacks athleticism, which were the knocks on him (as CBS says above).
From Greg Gabriel at National Football Post:
As an athlete, he tests out as well as any tackle in this draft. He ran 5.01, had a 32.5" vertical jump and his agilities were 7.25 and 4.33 respectively. He has quick feet and is a natural bender.
When you watch tape, it jumps out that he is very well coached. He has very good snap reaction, keeps his back straight in pass protection, and does an excellent job using his hands. Right now, he is a better pass blocker than a run blocker because of his punch and the way he can mirror opponents. He is light on his feet and reacts quickly to keep good position versus counter moves.
And, of course, what should come as no surprise, former teammate Kyle Long gave him a ringing endorsement:
"@ArthurArkush: Curious to hear @Ky1eLong scouting report on former Duck teammate, Fisher." Very tough dude. No BS. Very athletic. Team guy— MY NAME IS KYLE (@Ky1eLong) April 3, 2015
Do you think Fisher would be a good choice for Chicago in round two?