Thursday, April 25, 2013
Kyle Long: Another Phil Emery surprise
By Kevin Seifert
Say this much for Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery: He knows how to pull off a surprise.
No one saw him trading last year for receiver Brandon Marshall.
I don't think many people expected him to draft Boise State defensive end Shea McClellin last spring.
And if you had Marc Trestman in the Bears' coaching pool when Emery fired Lovie Smith, then you were flat-out lucky.
So it makes perfect sense that the Bears used the No. 20 overall pick Thursday night to draft an offensive lineman who made four starts last year in his only season at Oregon. Guard/tackle Kyle Long has some pretty good bloodlines -- he is the son of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long and the brother of the St. Louis Rams' Chris Long -- but he has a limited and checkered history that made him a total surprise Thursday night.
The Bears took Long with the draft's top two linebackers, Alec Ogletree and Manti Te'o, still on the board. They passed over Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert and Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant as well.
Lord knows the Bears could use more help at offensive line. Long could probably start right away at guard, or he could beat out J'Marcus Webb to play right tackle. But you would have to consider him a developmental projection. Consider his background courtesy Scouts Inc.:
"Did not play football until sophomore year of high school. He was also a baseball standout in high school as a pitcher and officially was clocked in with a 96 mile an hour fastball. Ended up taking a baseball scholarship to Florida State and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 23rd round of the 2008 MLB Draft. Failed out of Florida State after freshman year and was arrested in Charlottesville, Virginia in January of 2009 for DUI. Took a year off from sports before enrolling at Saddleback Junior College in 2010."
Long made it to Oregon for the 2012 season, playing in 11 games and started four. What did Phil Emery see in him? I'm sure he'll explain himself later Thursday, but for now your guess is as good as mine.