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Bears draft focus: Offensive tackle

4/28/2014

After enduring a pair of first round flops from 2008-10, the Chicago Bears finally solved their offensive tackle problem last offseason when they splashed big money to lure Jermon Bushrod in free agency and drafted Jordan Mills in the fifth round out of Louisiana Tech.

Mills' offseason foot surgery and subsequent rehabilitation could open the door for re-signed veteran guard/tackle Eben Britton to push for the starting job, but the Bears appear to be well-stocked at the top of their tackle depth chart.

But since a team can never have enough quality offensive tackles, the Bears may consider using a draft pick to increase the competition among backups James Brown and Joe Long. Seven-year veteran Jonathan Scott is still available on the open market after his contract expired with the Bears last month.

It is strange, and rather refreshing, to enter a draft without the offensive line being a major need for the Bears. Based on the current roster, it would be a surprise if the Bears took a tackle before the third day of the draft, unless there is significant concern about Mills' health. But by all accounts Mills' recovery is on schedule.

Five potential targets:

1. Justin Britt, Missouri

2. Matt Patchan, Boston College

3. Seantrel Henderson, Miami

4. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, McGill (Canada)

5. Kevin Pamphile, Purdue

The next five: 6. James Hurst, North Carolina; 7. Cornelius Lucas, Kansas State; 8. Kevin Graf, USC; 9. Garrett Scott, Marshall; 10. Parker Graham, Oklahoma State.

Position grade: B