Chicago Bears: Anthony Castonzo
February, 24, 2011
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com
INDIANAPOLIS -- In a perfect world, Lake Zurich High School product and Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo would fall to the Bears at No. 29.
Cliff Welch/Icon SMI Anthony Castonzo grew up as a Bears fan, but his loaylty will lie with whatever team drafts the offensive lineman.
"I said I'm going to be a Bears fan to the day I get drafted, and then become a fan of whoever drafts me," Castonzo laughed on Thursday at the NFL Combine.
Unfortunately, every team in need of help at offensive tackle is probably a fan of Castonzo -- considered by some analysts to be the No. 1 tackle in the 2011 draft.
Incredibly, the 6-7, 305-pound lineman had zero scholarship offers coming out of Lake Zurich and had to spend the 2006 season at Fork Union Military Academy.
"I was a 6-7, 225-pound drink of water, [and] every school I talked to didn't think I'd get big enough," Castonzo said. "I gained 25 pounds in one semester, basically I developed.
"Growing up, I head from a lot of people to not set my sights on the NFL because I might end up heartbroken. I've always thought, why not shoot for the stars? I've always desired to be the best and regardless of what anybody says, that's what I'm going to try and do."
Castonzo holds the Boston College record for career starts at 54 and was a 2010 third-team All-American selection by the Associated Press. He can play both tackle spots, but made the move to the left side following his freshman season in 2008. Castonzo -- whose left foot actually measures an inch and a half longer than his right foot -- also moved inside to play some guard during the Senior Bowl in January.
"I did it because they asked me to do it, and I thought I was going to be real awkward there," Castonzo said. "But I surprised myself and felt better than I thought I would. I feel like that's just another thing I can do and adds to my versatility. I enjoyed it."
Coincidentally, Bears general manager Jerry Angelo has a track record of selecting offensive linemen out of Boston College. Angelo used a first-round pick on tackle Marc Colombo in 2002 and grabbed guard Josh Beekman in the fourth round five years later.
"I knew him [Beekman] because he was training for the Combine when I first got to BC," Castonzo said. "I think the mantra at BC is when you get to the NFL, be a tough guy and work. Be a blue collar kind of guy. I'm looking to take the reigns they laid out for me and be the next guy.
"The [Bears] have talked to me. All the teams are just kind of playing it easy right now, no teams are really saying, 'You're our guy,' or anything, but they showed interest. But really not much more than anybody else."