It was a great NFL draft for the Ducks, and especially for Kyle Long, who was a surprise first-round draft pick for the Chicago Bears. Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. of SBNation's Windy City Gridiron was kind enough to answer a few of our questions, so we can get a sense of how Bears fans are liking their first-round pick. We also answered a few of their questions over at Windy City Gridiron.
Addicted To Quack: Kyle Long was thought to be a possible first-round selection, but the Bears picked him higher than most Duck fans thought he'd go. What do Bears fans think generally think about the pick?
Windy City Gridiron: Initially Bears fans were livid that the Bears reached for a guy with a 2nd round grade, but now many have climbed down off the ledge and are OK with the selection. I'd still say it's about 50/50 for/against, but many fans now see the upside he could bring.
ATQ: The Bears struggles at protecting the QB are well-known. Will Long be expected to contribute right away? Do you think he'll be starting in September?
WCG: The Bears only have one guard on the roster that had more than three starts at guard last year, and that's free agent Matt Slausen. Kyle Long will compete with James Brown, who was an undrafted free agent last year, and with former 1st rounder Gabe Carimi who is moving inside from right tackle. Long is far more athletic that either player, and since he's the top pick of the Marc Trestman era, I believe he'll receive every opportunity to win a starting job.
ATQ: What worries you the most seeing the Bears draft Long?
WCG: His inexperience. When I watch film, I see a player that moves very well, but he isn't always attacking the right guy. He seems unsure with his assignments, but that's to be expected with a guy that was thrown into the guard mix.
ATQ: Let's end this on a high note. What about Long excites you the most?
WCG: His athleticism really stands out. Once he refines his technique, I think he can be a long term starter at left guard. New Bears offensive line coach Aaron Kromar molded a very good offensive line with players that are no where near as athletic as Long. The Bears signed one of his projects away in former 4th rounder turned 2 time Pro Bowler Jermon Bushrod.
On a really optimistic note, I think Long's inexperience can work to the Bears advantage, as his bad habits won't be so ingrained to his muscle memory, and Kromar can shape him into the player he believes he can be.