Three Interior Offensive Lineman the Bears Can Target: NFL Draft
With the Chicago Bears not having a first-round pick this season, it is vital that they hit on their early picks. The Bears first pick is 43rd overall and then they come up again 50th overall. After that, the Bears don’t pick again until the middle of the fifth round. All in all, the Bears need to hit these second-round picks really well unless they trade back. Interior offensive lineman should be the first or second position the Chicago Bears target in this draft.
Interior Offensive Lineman on the Chicago Bears
The Bears have two solid, young interior offensive lineman in James Daniels and Cody Whitehair. For years, the Bears had Kyle Long at right guard anchoring the line, but unfortunately due to injuries, Long announced his retirement after the season. That left a huge hole at the right guard position.
The Bears added former first-round pick Germain Ifedi for a very cheap deal in order to compete for that right guard position. Ifedi has had his issues over the years with holding penalties, false starts, etc., but offensive line coach Juan Castillo believes he can fix him and he is really high on him. After Ifedi, the Bears don’t have many options. Even if Castillo is high on him, it isn’t safe to ride with Ifedi given his track record.
Interior Offensive Lineman NFL Draft
Interior offensive line is arguably the weakest position group in the NFL Draft this year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good players you can find. That just means there aren’t really any first-round talents. This is perfect for the Bears then as they could get the best interior offensive lineman in the draft with their first pick in the second round. Some teams may even wait until the third or fourth round to pick with how weak the class is. Here are three interior offensive lineman the Chicago Bears should target.
Cesar Ruiz, Michigan
Cesar Ruiz is the best interior offensive lineman prospect in this class. Ruiz earned playing time at Michigan as a freshman starting five games at right guard and played all the way through his junior year before entering the draft. As a sophomore, he was a third-team All-Big 10 pick and as a junior he was a second-team All-Big 10 pick playing center. Ruiz is very quick and athletic and doesn’t really have a lot of weaknesses to his game. Adding Ruiz in the draft would give the Bears a lot of flexibility in their offensive line since both Whitehair and Daniels can play center and guard and so can Ruiz.
Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU
Lloyd Cushenberry is basically the consensus second-best interior offensive lineman in the NFL draft. Cushenberry was a part of the LSU national championship team anchoring the line for star quarterback Joe Burrow. Along with Ruiz, Cushenberry is also a junior. Cushenberry earned first-team All-SEC in 2019 for the Tigers starting all 15 games for them. Whereas Ruiz can play either guard or center, Cushenberry will likely just be a center. He looked like a pro center for LSU when they often were in five-man protection sets putting Cushenberry on an island. Cushenberry almost always stepped up to the task. He has great technique and has the ability to be successful in the NFL for a long time.
After these two prospects, the Bears likely won’t take an interior lineman with a second round pick. If the Bears trade back, here is one they can get in the third or fourth round.
Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin
Biadasz won the Rimington Award, which is the award to the nation’s best center, this past season for UW along with becoming a consensus All-American. Wisconsin’s pro-style offense consistently outputs great offensive lineman prospects to the NFL Draft and Biadasz could be a steal for that reason. Biadasz has had some health concerns which is why he falls to the third and fourth round, but if he becomes healthy, he can be a day one starter. He missed the combine due to shoulder surgery, but he is expected to be back for April OTAs after the NFL draft. Teams loved him in interviews as he showed impressive knowledge. He is expected to fall to the third or fourth round.
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