It’s no secret that poor offensive line play has been one of the biggest issues for the Bears this season. They have the second-fewest rushing yards per game at 85.63. Nick Foles has had almost no time to throw the ball before a defender is in his face. It’s also the one position group hit hardest by injuries for the Bears. Bobby Massie left Sunday’s game with a knee injury, leaving the Bears with only two offensive linemen from their original starting unit.
With all that trouble up front, Olin Kreutz said on The Football Aftershow that he thinks Ryan Pace shouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger if a viable trade comes together.
“I think if you can find a trade that makes sense, definitely beef up your offensive line,” Kreutz said. “James McDaniels is out for the year. Your offensive line wasn’t good anyways, so, a few names you can look at: Kevin Zeitler for the Giants. You look at bad teams. Brandon Scherff, I think that’s the name for the Washington (Football Team).”
But while Kreutz says the Bears should target teams with bad records, he also thinks the Bears need to keep their expectations realistic.
“I don’t think Atlanta is going to let go of Alex Mack, because he is kind of a cornerstone,” Kreutz said. “So you’re looking for guys that maybe guys will trade for a low round pick. Norwell from the Jaguars, guys like that who are on bad football teams. If you are Ryan Pace you at least pick the phone up and make the offer you think your franchise can afford.”
Kreutz did eventually concede that finding a trade partner for an offensive linemen would be easier said than done.
“There’s no doubt because offensive linemen are so hard to find nowadays,” Kreutz said “And that’s why it’s hard to make a trade for them. Guys aren’t just giving them away, so if guys have good offensive linemen they are building. Coaches, GMs, they know that these guys are few and far between nowadays, so they keep them in their building. Even when they are bad football teams, you won’t see an offensive lineman move very often. Unless he forces his way out like Trent Williams.”
Even if the Bears were able to find a suitable trade partner, Alex Brown argues holding onto draft picks would help the team more in the long run.
“I’m staying with my draft capital,” Brown said. “I mean, I get it. If we don’t make a move now with so many injuries happening on the offensive line, I don’t want people to think were giving up on the season. I mean, you’re 5-3 right now, so everything is still out in front of you.
“So is there that one player that gets you over that hump on the offensive line? If that’s not a yes, a strong yes, then hold onto your draft picks. You don’t want to get a guy that you’re only going to have for another two years, now you’ve got to pay him a whole lot of money. Let’s do better in the draft. That’s what we need to do, start hitting on some of these first-round picks, because we do have a first round pick now.”
The Bears drafted two offensive linemen in the seventh round of the 2020 draft, none in 2019, draft James Daniels in the second round of the 2018 draft, and Cody Whitehair in the second round of the 2016 draft. They haven’t used a first-round pick to draft an offensive lineman since Kyle Long in 2013.