Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Source: Cal center Schwenke to visit Bears
By Jeff Dickerson
Cal's Brian Schwenke switched to center last season and earned all-conference honors.
CHICAGO -- Former California center/guard Brian Schwenke is scheduled to visit the Chicago Bears on Wednesday, according to a league source.
Schwenke is projected to be a third-round selection in the NFL draft, although the Bears don't have a third-round pick as a result of last season's trade with the Miami Dolphins for Brandon Marshall.
One of Schwenke's trademarks is his versatility. Listed at 6-foot-3, 314 pounds, Schwenke began his collegiate career at guard where he started a combined 24 games at guard (16 at left guard, eight at right guard) from 2010-11. But the Golden Bears shifted Schwenke to center last season where he earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors.
Because of his smaller stature, Schwenke is viewed more as a center on the NFL level, but could step in and contribute at guard if necessary.
Center should be considered an area of need because the Bears will eventually have to replace 34-year-old veteran center Roberto Garza, who has performed admirably on the field and in a leadership role since moving from guard to center to replace Olin Kreutz two years ago. But Garza is only signed through 2013.
The Bears' picture at guard became a little clearer when the club signed free agent Matt Slauson after Lance Louis left for Miami, but there is expected to be competition for at least one of the guard spots between the likes of Gabe Carimi, James Brown and Edwin Williams. With Schwenke's experience at guard, he could push for playing time at that spot if the Bears are content to stick with Garza at center for at least one more season.