Most if not all Bears fans have given up on second year offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb and want to go out and draft a future LT in the first round of the NFL draft. Meaning more growing pains at a position that suffered growing pains with a first year starter.
The Seattle Seahawks have drafted four starting offensive linemen in the last two seasons all in the first and second round of the NFL draft and are even with the Bears in sacks allowed on the season.
This is the one simple bit of hard evidence I can point to that shows drafting offensive linemen in the first two rounds of the NFL draft does not always work to immediately solidify things up front.
Beyond that the Bears will eliminate Mike Martz and add both Chris Williams and Gabe Carimi and rid themselves of Frank Omiyale. Leaving a hole on offense and a need in either free agency or the draft.
That position will be a swing tackle, someone who can play either RT or LT, but will almost certainly be a mid to late round selection.
You grade the offensive line on more than just pass protection, the other part of the equation is run blocking, and the Bears have improved monumentally over the 2009 season, the low point. The Bears have five solid run blockers that start and have another two blockers that add depth.
The pass blocking is always the last thing to develop, but will get a boost with Martz’s departure. Meaning that the five starters that are in place will turn out to be just fine as they continue to grow and play together.
There is absolutely no reason for the Bears to draft an offensive tackle with any of their first three, arguably four draft picks. There are much more pressing needs to address, most notably the wide receiver position and beginning to retool a defense.
Frank Omiyale will need to be replaced and the Bears can do this by drafting a swing back up tackle that can learn. Who knows, perhaps Levi Horn already represents that player, that however seems unlikely.
Free agency may also be a possibility, but the preference should be to draft a young OT to help add to a young and talented offensive front.
Be certain the offensive front is starting to become a strong unit over the last two seasons especially with the depth that has been developed and added.
Chris Spencer was a cheap starter level player who can compete to be a starter next year or can be solid backup at either guard position or at center. Lance Louis is yet another starter capable player who can play as a backup at either RG or at RT.
Edwin Williams has proven himself, he’s a solid option possibly at center as a backup or certainly as a backup guard.
All this depth that has started and has played well as starters can rotate to a backup positions. The key to all this development is simply Mike Tice, who should be given a raise and kept on as offensive coordinator.