Rookie Review: Bears offensive line
October, 14, 2013
By Kevin Weidl | ESPN.com
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesRookies Kyle Long and Jordan Mills have been better than expected for the Bears.Heading into the 2013 draft, the Bears had surrendered a total of 149 sacks in the prior three seasons, ahead of only Arizona with 162 for worst in the NFL. General manager Phil Emery and his scouting staff were focused on infusing young talent along the offensive line to attempt to preserve the health of QB Jay Cutler, who took the majority of those sacks.
In the first round, the Bears selected OG Kyle Long -- a very athletic but raw prospect out of Oregon. In the fifth round, the Bears continued to add depth on the offensive line when they selected OT Jordan Mills from Louisiana Tech. Emery and the Bears have seen strong returns from both rookies who have started all six games while playing next to each other on the right side of the line.
Coming out of Oregon, Long had one of the higher ceilings of any offensive linemen in the 2013 class. At 6-foot-6 and 313 pounds, he had a well-proportioned frame to go along with raw power, exceptional flexibility and athleticism. He also came from great bloodlines, as he's the son of Hall of Fame DT Howie Long and brother of St. Louis DE Chris Long.