Thanks to us being a part of SB Nation, we have access to a lot of neat things, one of which is our ability to talk with the college sites that covered the newest members of the Chicago Bears.
In this series of Five Questions With..., we'll try learn a little more about the 2016 rookie class, both the draft picks and also some of the undrafted free agents.
Today we're talking with the Managing Editor of Bring On The Cats, Jon Mores (@jonfmorse). Bring On The Cats is the SB Nation site that covers the Kansas State Wildcats, you can follow them on Twitter @BringOnTheCats. We asked Jon some questions about Bears' 2nd round draft pick, offensive lineman Cody Whitehair.
Windy City Gridiron - Whitehair started the last two years at left tackle, but before that he played both guard and tackle. The Bears have an immediate opening at left guard after cutting Matt Slauson, so how much of his experience as a freshman and sophomore was at LG? And was he effective there?
Bring On The Cats - Whitehair started 25 of 26 games his freshman and sophomore years, almost all at left guard. He was a freshman All-American, and a second-team All-Big 12 selection as a sophomore, so yeah, he was pretty effective.
WCG - One of the reasons Slauson was cut was a lack of athleticism that limited some of the stuff the Bears could do with him. Was Whitehair asked to pull, trap or get out in front of screens at Kansas State?
BOTC - Oh, yes. Those technical assignments are what led to the start of your next question. Scouts were so impressed with his actual blocking *skill* that they mostly handwaved his relatively underwhelming bench results at the combine.
WCG - Whitehair has been called more of a technician, rather than a mauler, a similar scouting report was given about last year's interior o-line draft pick Hroiniss Grasu. Bears fans watched Grasu have some problems against some of the larger defensive tackles last season, so should Bears' fans have the same concerns about Whitehair?
BOTC - Possibly. Whitehair had no problems with the Big 12's best tackles, but then they're not NFL tackles, right? It'll be interesting to see how much strength Whitehair can add with the benefit of NFL strength training.
WCG - Bears' fans like their offensive linemen to play with an edge to their game, à la Kyle Long, how is Whitehair's on field temperament?
BOTC - I'd describe him as intense, but controlled. He's not a particularly fiery guy, but he exhibited a lot of quiet leadership.
WCG - Lance Zierlein of NFL.com says "Whitehair has the ability to be a very good starter with a ceiling that could reach the all-pro level," do you share his optimism?
BOTC - I never get too over-enthused about the potential of any player's pro career, because there are so many screwy things that can happen. Whitehair is a smart guy, he'll have the playbook down cold, and if he doesn't get overwhelmed he's going to be yet another former Wildcat offensive lineman with Pro Bowl credentials. But optimism aside, he's probably going to have to bulk up to reach that level.
Thanks again to Jon Morse for giving us some more info on Cody Whitehair.