NFL Draft Q&A: OT J'Marcus Webb

OT J'Marcus Webb (WTAMU Athletics)

What are the Bears getting in West Texas A&M OT J'Marcus Webb? Nobody knows Webb better than Billy Best, the Buffs' offensive line coach. Here is everything that matters in this exclusive Q&A.

John Crist: J'Marcus Webb was originally a blue-chip recruit and played a year at national-powerhouse Texas. I know he had some academic and personal problems that drove him out of Austin, but how exactly did he end up with you at West Texas A&M of all places?

Billy Best: Well, he did have some academic issues. He was like a lot of freshman in college that get out of the house for the first time and have problems with academics, and I think that combined with playing time is what made him transfer to a junior college. It's tough for a kid to go to a junior college out of a four-year place and graduate on time and be able to sign somewhere. It's really tough to get the hours, and we make a living off recruiting kids like himself and we stay on top of them. We got him in late July [2008] before he came here, and he's been a Buffalo ever since. He's a kid that doesn't talk about Texas a whole lot.

JC: Bears fans are going to see a seventh-round pick and get excited about the fact that he's 6-8 and close to 330 pounds. But aside from flat-out size, which obviously can't be coached, what makes him the player he is and capable of lining up with the big boys on Sunday?

BB: The thing about him, he's got that size, but he looks like a 300-pound kid. He's really slim, and when he puts the uniform on, you'd never guess he's 330. The thing that makes him really good is he understands leverage, and he can bend his knees and move those feet really great. He's really great at doing that, and his recover ability is really exceptional. And just those things. I can tell you that Eugene Sims, who was drafted in the sixth round by the Rams, our defensive end, and those two went at it a lot the past two years, and J'Marcus hasn't lost a rep to him yet. So hopefully that will continue for the Bears.

JC: For the most part in the NFL, and it's true for the Bears, left tackle is a little more of a finesse position and right tackle is a little more of a power position. I know he played left tackle for you guys considering his credentials, but where do you think he will end up at the pro level?

BB: I think there's no doubt he's a left tackle in the NFL, but the thing he does the best is [be] a pass protector. Although he has a great ability to be a run blocker as well, but his mindset and the way he recovers and the athletic ability he has make him a left tackle. On top of that, he's got 36-inch arms. Those guys like that are hard to find. I think he's definitely a left tackle but has the mental capacity and the physical traits to be able to play [on the] right side as well.

JC: You certainly know the things he does well, but what are some of the things he needs to work on right now? He seemed to be destined for success at your program, but if he's going to stick around and make the team in Chicago, what aspects of his game need to be upgraded?

BB: I think, No. 1, what he's got to do better, he's gonna have an offseason. He's been through one offseason, essentially, since he's been out of high school. Between transferring from Texas and then junior college and being here, he's had one really solid offseason and summer, so his strength numbers have got to improve and they will. They've improved since he began working out with an agent and all that kind of stuff, so I think that's No. 1. No. 2, we throw the ball a lot here at West Texas. That's predominantly what we do. So the run game, he's going to have some work to do with the run game. But, like I said, he's got the ability and the mental capacity to handle that. Once he gets that settled, I think he's going to be a great player.

JC: When he got around some of the pro scouts and pro coaches, specifically at the Texas vs. The Nation game, there was chatter about him not having a good work ethic and not buying into the opportunity being presented before him. Why were comments like that showing up in his scouting reports?

BB: I don't want to say what I really want to say, but I think that's very unfair. J'Marcus busted his butt for me for two years. He was a tempo setter on our offense in practice. He played hurt. He practiced hurt. He never missed a rep unless I took him out. People that read body demeanors bother me, because I don't think you can be around a guy for two days and read his body demeanor and understand what he's really thinking. I do know what they're talking about, by the way he stands or whatever, but the kid did everything we asked him to do and he gave it up for us on Saturdays for two years, and I've never had a problem with him doing that kind of stuff. I think if you can do that in two days and get that kind of evaluation, then you're a lot better than I am.


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John Crist is the Publisher of BearReport.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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