Bears stock OL pipeline with Oregon C Hroniss Grasu in Round 3


Bears stock OL pipeline with Oregon C Hroniss Grasu in Round 3

General manager Ryan Pace and the Bears have a variety of measures used in evaluating players and different ways of trying to quantify some of the skills and potential.

They also have a very “qualitative” standard, one that not many players earn but that Oregon center Hronis Grasu had on his computer-screen overview.

“There’s certain guys on our board that we’ll check a ‘Bears’ box, a little ‘Bear’ that’ll pop up,” Pace said, smiling. “To us, that’s a guy who has every trait we’re looking for. His makeup is outstanding. Grasu is one of those guys.

“And [Grasu Oregon teammate] Kyle Long just confirmed all those things when we talked to him.”

[MORE: Bears bulk up 3-4 middle, draft Florida State DT Eddie Goldman]

The Bears saw the end of the Chicago career of Roberto Garza this offseason and brought in his replacement in the form of Will Montgomery, the center for the Denver Broncos under coach John Fox and coordinator Adam Gase.

They went another step toward securing the middle of the offensive line on Friday, selecting Grasu with their third-round pick, the 71st overall. They got a case of can-do attitude if nothing else.

“I’ll jump up and down on one leg on the sideline if that’s what they ask me to do,” Grasu said.

Grasu, 6-3, 297 pounds, played alongside Bears Pro Bowl guard Long at Oregon in 2012. Long was the Bears’ first-round pick in the 2013 draft. “The guy's just a freak; he's a monster,” Grasu said. “He was always the guy that was sacrificing his entire body for his team. He's the guy that comes in and always go all out. I just wanted to learn as much as I can from him.”

Grasu also played against new Bears defensive tackle Eddie Goldman when Oregon blew out Florida State in the 2015 Rose Bowl. "Going into that game, I knew it was going to be a huge challenge,” he said. “I thought both of us had a really good game."

(Considering that Oregon had 301 rushing yards, 639 total and 52 points, Goldman’s take on the game might have been slightly different.)

[2015 NFL Draft: Recap of second and third round picks in Day 2]

This marks the first time since 2008 (Chris Williams, Matt Forte, Earl Bennett) that the Bears selected as many as two offensive players within the first three picks of a draft.

Grasu was one of six finalists in both 2013 and 2014 for the Rimington Trophy given to the nation’s top college center.

“He has to make a lot of identifications,” Pace said. “He’s a highly intelligent player. Those things jump out to me. His athleticism really jumps out guys. Just his quickness and his balance. The things you look for in a center, I mean, lateral quickness is important for a center. The ability to reach a nose tackle.

“He’s got all those traits. So physically he is everything we’re looking for. And then mentally, the intelligence factor in a center is huge. And he definitely has that.”


Hall of Fame writers rank Jay Cutler behind Brandon Marshall on all-time Bears list


Hall of Fame writers rank Jay Cutler behind Brandon Marshall on all-time Bears list

The summer days of the offseason are prime ranking season, and the Bears official website is entering the mix as part of the team’s 100th season celebration.

Hall of Fame writers Dan Pompei and Don Pierson ranked the top 100 players in franchise history for their upcoming centennial scrapbook, and Monday the team released the first 25 names on the list.

The biggest standout was quarterback Jay Cutler, who ranked 85th.

Plenty of Hall of Famers should rank above the Bears’ all-time leading passer, but 84 is quite a few.

It’s hard to compare a modern quarterback to players from previous decades, like 82nd-ranked George Blanda, but Cutler even came in behind the likes of wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, neither of whom spent more than five years in Chicago.

Third-year safety Eddie Jackson also made an appearance at 96 on the list, and beloved former long snapper Patrick Mannelly started off the list at 100.

Taking a post draft, rookie-minicamp look at the Bears 2019 opponents: Weeks 11-17

Taking a post draft, rookie-minicamp look at the Bears 2019 opponents: Weeks 11-17

A lot has changed since the NFL released the 2019 schedule. Teams have added through the draft and free agency, and learned more about their rosters with rookie minicamps. Now with all that behind us, let’s take another look at which opposing rookies could make an impact in 2019. We’ll go over the first five opponents on Wednesday, the next four on Thursday and the last four on Friday.

Week 11 at Rams

If LA doesn’t re-sign Ndamukong Suh they’ll have a major vacancy on their defensive line: enter fourth-rounder Greg Gaines. The Rams traded back into the fourth round to snag Gaines, so clearly they think highly of the first team All-Pac-12 DL who had 56 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season at Washington.

Week 12 vs. Giants

The Giants made the biggest splash of the draft by selecting Daniel Jones No. 6 overall. Reactions to the picks in the media and on social media were very similar to when the Bears traded up to pick Mitchell Trubisky No. 2 overall in 2017, and Trubisky has already publicly given Jones advice for how to deal with the negative attention. Will Jones follow in Trubisky’s footsteps and have replaced Eli Manning under center by the time the Giants visit Chicago?

Week 13 at Lions

See Thursday’s preview of Bears’ opponents. 

Week 14 vs. Cowboys

Fourth-round pick Tony Pollard is the lesser-heralded running back from Memphis rather than Darrell Henderson, but he can run and catch. Over his last two seasons, he put up 782 rushing yards, 994 receiving yards and 15 total touchdowns. He also adds much needed depth to the Dallas running back room, as the leading rusher behind Ezekiel Elliott last season was Dak Prescott with 75 attempts for 305 yards. After that, it was Rod Smith with 44 attempts for 127 yards.

Week 15 at Packers

See Wednesday’s preview of Bears’ opponents.

Week 16 vs. Chiefs

If Tyreek Hill doesn’t play this year due to domestic violence allegations, second-round pick Mecole Hardman could get a lot of snaps at WR in his stead. Hardman can blow by defenders, like Hill, and ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the combine. That number was good for fifth-best among all participants this year. On the field for Georgia, he caught 35 balls for 543 yards and seven touchdowns. He added a punt return touchdown, as well.

Week 17 at Vikings

See Wednesday’s preview of Bears’ opponents.