One offensive lineman for the Bears for every round of the 2022 NFL draft

The Chicago Bears have a problem with their offensive line. As a rookie, Justin Fields was the 10th most sacked quarterback in 2021.

New general manager Ryan Poles has made efforts to improve the offensive line by signing free agent center Lucas Patrick and right guard Dakota Dozier. However, neither appear to be long-term answers. Dozier is on a one-year “rental” deal and Lucas Patrick is on a two-year deal.

The Bears also missed out on restricted free agent guard Ryan Bates after Buffalo matched Chicago’s offer and signed the Penn State lineman to a four-year extension.

Given the need to get depth and long-term solutions on the offensive line, here are some linemen the Bears could target in each round of the upcoming draft to fill a critical need-starting with their first pick in Round 2.

2nd Round: Daniel Faalele, Minnesota

AP Photo/Butch Dill

Daniel Faalele is a 6’8 380 pound mountain. He’s a monster run blocker. Engulfing defenders on down blocks opens up running lanes behind him. In pass protection, he’s fast to set, strong enough to fend off rushers, and immovable when anchored.

He’s still learning the game and has to improve his pass protection. He didn’t start playing football until 2016. He also weighed 400 pounds throughout college. Teams will likely want him to lose 10-20 more pounds to improve his lateral quickness. In the second round, the Bears would get a run-blocking right tackle who could develop into a pass protector in Faalele.

3rd Round: Dylan Parham, Memphis

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dylan Parham was a four-year starter in a spread offense and should quickly adapt to the Bears’ new zone running scheme. Before moving to guard and tackle with the Tigers, he was a tight end. He gets out of his stance quickly and cuts off defenders while finding the right angle to create a running lane for the running back. Parham is a bully who will block until the whistle.

He’s a smaller lineman at 6’2 311 pounds, and his arms are short (33rd percentile for his position group). His physique resembles James Daniels’, but his arms are shorter, which may cause issues. But if they don’t, he’s a fast and strong lineman that could play immediately like Daniels.

4th Round: Zach Tom, Wake Forest

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Tom was invited to play center for the Shrine Bowl despite playing center and left tackle in college. He’s the product of a zone-heavy run scheme and should adapt fast to the Bears’ new offense. Athleticism is his strength. Tom possesses an incredible explosion out of his stance, allowing him to overtake blockers quickly. However, as a pass protector, he’s average.

Like Parham and most zone scheme linemen, he’s undersized but athletic. Tom is 6’4 304 pounds with short arms (37th percentile for his position group). A team would look to put mass on him to improve his in-game strength and give him a more substantial base to anchor against pass rushers. If he increases his power, he might be a long-term starter at center.

5th Round: Lecitus Smith, Virginia Tech

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

A former tight end, Lecitus Smith, mainly played left guard with one start at left tackle for the Hokies. He’s a three-year starter and a tone-setter in the run game. On film, he surges out of his stance and drives opponents off the ball, making it difficult for defensive linemen to win the line of scrimmage. Smith is another bully-type who blocks till the whistle.

Smith needs to improve his lateral agility. He has problems recognizing and reacting to stunts and more advanced pass rushers. But as a rookie, he’s a powerful run blocker who can instantly fit into a zone scheme. Given the talent of his weekly competition, teams might have to scheme around his pass protection until he improves.

6th Round: Logan Bruss, Wisconsin

MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

Logan Bruss has done it all for the Badgers. He’s played guard, tackle, and even served as a blocking tight end. As a three-year starter in a pro-style offense, he’s shown the agility required to play in a zone scheme. In addition, his combination of speed off the ball, pad level, and strength helps him optimize his smaller frame.

As a tackle, Bruss struggled with speedier pass rushers, so the move inside to guard is his best fit in the NFL. But, again, he’s a guy with a smaller frame and short arms (33rd percentile) that relies on athleticism. He’ll need time to develop but could be a starter in a few years.

7th Round: Josh Rivas, Kansas State

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Josh Rivas is a prototypical NFL offensive tackle at 6’6 320 pounds. Likely a seventh-round/undrafted selection, the Kansas State prospect is a good run-blocker with average/below average pass protection skills. However, he’s a good athlete who could fit a zone system. In addition, Rivas has excellent tape getting to the second and third level downfield and clearing space for ball carriers.

Given his below-average lateral foot speed, he might struggle with the quickness of NFL pass rushers. He also tends to duck his head on blocks, leaving him overextended. To play long-term in the NFL, he’ll need to improve his technique and length. Most likely, he’s a backup tackle, but he has the frame to become more than that.

[listicle id=505540]

1

1

Leave a Comment