Bears play follow the leader

"Part of the reason we're extremely excited about having him here is his versatility," Emery said. "We feel he can be a starting right tackle. We feel he can be a good left tackle in this league."

Long played both left tackle and guard at Oregon. But he has played offensive line for only two years, one of which was at Saddleback Community College.

He was a baseball pitcher and defensive end previously, and he had only four career starts as an offensive lineman at Oregon. His limited body of work was a concern for some, but not for Emery.

"I'd be concerned if he wasn't the person he was and he wasn't the dynamic athlete he is," Emery said.

In fact, Emery said he believes Long can play right away.

"My inexperience can be looked at in two ways," Long said. "I feel I can get a lot better with good coaching."

The Bears might have been able to acquire Long if they moved down in the first round. Before the draft, three front office men said they thought Long would be a second-round pick.

But it was not a gamble the Bears were interested in taking. Emery said so long as Long was on the board, they would not have been interested in a move down.

Besides, their best chance of moving down disappeared when the 49ers moved up two spots ahead of them in a deal with the Cowboys to choose LSU safety Eric Reid.

That was fine with the Bears. They had their sights set on something bigger.

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei

ct-spt-0426-bears-pompei-nfl-draft-chicago-20130426
 
Advertisement

PHOTO GALLERIES

TOP VIDEO

CONNECT WITH US


2013 YEAR IN REVIEW
Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google Plus
  • RSS Feeds
  • Mobile Alerts and Apps