The hot debate right now is whether or not the Chicago Bears will address the offensive line in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft.
Chicago has needs on both sides of the ball, specifically at receiver, cornerback, defensive end and linebacker. One can easily foresee the Bears addressing any of those positions in the first round.
Yet the front five on offense still needs work.
This offseason, coach Lovie Smith and coordinator Mike Tice have, to the surprise of most, praised the current offensive line. Both have stated publicly that the team will be fine if they have to go forward with the players on today's roster.
Most in the Chicago area, as well as those around the league, disagree with that evaluation of the team's blockers. The film doesn't lie, and the tape shows a unit that is in serious need of upgrades.
The Bears did not sign any offensive linemen in free agency and, given the team's salary cap situation, are unlikely to do so going forward.
Which means, if the club wants to improve a front five that has allowed the most combined sacks in the league the past two seasons, GM Phil Emery will need to start with this year's draft.
One player that could provide the boost Chicago's offensive line needs is Cordy Glenn (6-5, 345). The former Georgia Bulldog has experience at both tackle and guard. Let's go to the tape to see if he might be the cure for what ails the Bears' offense.
G/T Cordy Glenn
Kim Klement/US Presswire
-Enormous body – ideal for an in-line blocker.
-Very strong, powerful player.
-His strength and size combination allows him to swallow up smaller defenders.
-Good balance in pass protection. Mirrors defenders well. Isn't often fooled by double moves.
-Strong hands. Once he locks on, it's curtains for the defender.
-Uses a squat base with wide feet. Almost impossible to push backward.
-Shows good awareness at the second level and takes good angles at linebackers – although he's inconsistent in this area.
-Can be slow getting down the line but packs a punch.
-Understands positioning in run blocking. Good at putting his body between defender and ball carrier.
-Does not explode off the ball. More of a "catch" blocker. Relies on his massive frame too much.
-Lacks ideal lateral quickness on the edge. Doesn't extend body with kick step.
-Must develop consistency in open field.
-Can get fooled by blitzes on occasion.
-Sometimes lowers head when run blocking.
-Must get out of stance quicker on pulls and traps.
Glenn is a three-year starter who has not dealt with any significant injuries. He started 28 games at left guard, 18 at left tackle and four at right guard. His size and strength combination, coupled with his lack of lateral quickness, makes him best suited as a guard in the pros.
As a run blocker, Glenn is a pure mauler. He doesn't fire off the ball but his massive body allows him to toss around defenders inside. As a pass blocker, he can easily hold his own. Quicker defenders might give him trouble if he's asked to play on the edge.
At the scouting combine, Glenn ran a 5.15 40-yard dash. For a 345-pound player, that is phenomenal. It shows his natural athleticism. His 31 bench press reps were solid as well. He didn't do as well in the vertical jump, measuring under two feet, the worst at the combine, further illustrating his lack of explosiveness off the ball.
Glenn shows good quickness and awareness at the second level. From his left guard spot, he was outstanding at picking off linebackers. He also has 36-inch arms, which will help him keep defensive linemen at bay.
There are no character or durability concerns with Glenn. In fact, there's not much to dislike with this kid.
If the Bears drafted him and placed him at right guard next to Gabe Carimi, that would create one of the most-dominant run-blocking right sides in the league.
Georgia held its pro day a few weeks back but Chicago was one of only a few teams not to send a representative. The Bears either aren't interested in Glenn or want everyone to think they're not interested.
Mock drafts have Glenn going as high as in the top 10, with others dropping him into the late first round. If he's still on the board when Chicago picks at 19th overall, he could cure much of what has ailed this offensive line for years.
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.