With the 20th overall selection in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears have selected offensive lineman Kyle Long. Long, son of Hall of Famer Howie Long and brother of Chris Long of the St. Louis Rams, played left tackle for the Oregon Ducks but is projected as a guard at the next level.
After trying his hand at professional baseball (he was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 2008 MLB Draft) Long spent most of his collegiate career in junior college. He transferred to Oregon in 2012, starting four games. As far as his Division I collegiate experience, that's as far as it goes. He applied for a sixth year of eligibility to continue his development in college but was denied by the NCAA and forced to enter the draft.
Long is a very raw prospect with a lot of upside. Most believed he was a second- or third-round pick but his athleticism had him rising up draft boards the last few weeks. That said, no one saw him being drafted at 20th overall – and if they say they did, they are lying.
At the scouting combine, Long was one of the fastest offensive linemen with a 4.94 40-yard dash. He has ideal size (6-6, 313) and can really move. The belief is that Long's athleticism should allow him to excel in the new zone-blocking schemes being installed by offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. Long is at his best on the move and is very good at the second level.
His technique is lacking at times and he plays too high but the Bears obviously feel they can fix those problems.
For the second year in a row, Emery has selected a questionable player in the first round.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.