At 6-3 and 300 pounds, his size may keep him in a zone-blocking-scheme but he could very well end up the best center in this draft class. He was a four-year starter and an all-freshman in 2011.
Grasu feels that playing in Oregon’s high tempo offense will help him at the next level: “Our game at Oregon, our tempo, I think it will really help in Chicago. I was asked to make a lot of decisions in a short amount of time. Six or seven seconds. Being able to do that with the other four offensive linemen makes it so much easier. I can't even put it into words how excited I am to continue my journey with the Bears.”
- Pro Ready.
- Very good against the run.
- Quick to get to the second level and very rangy when doing so.
- Good pad level.
- Good balance: Does not get pushed back often.
- Anchors well against the majority of nose tackles.
- Experience. A four year starter.
Weaknesses- Scheme versatility due to size. Has short arms.
- Lacks strength and size in the passing game.
- Lack of power.
Grasu provides the Bears with one of the better interior lines in the league. His fit into the zone-blocking-scheme gives him a higher value than other teams had originally given him. He is a four-year starter that will provide a good amount of experience and he's a very hard worker. He may ultimately sit behind veteran Will Montgomery in 2015 (barring injury) but should provide the Bears with a long-term starter with Pro Bowl potential in the near future.
Grasu feels he could play either guard or center: “I anticipate playing any position they want. I'm going to anticipate it all. Whatever position they want me to play, I'll play.” Ultimately, his best long-term fit will be at center.
Pro Comparison: Max Unger
What does this mean for recently signed Will Montgomery?
Montgomery is a valuable veteran with a small $950,000 salary this year and only $200,000 in dead space. Ultimately, he will probably go in as the Day-1 starter but by no means will he have it handed to him if he’s outplayed. Worst case scenario would be to cut him and lose out on $200,000. Ultimately, if he loses the starting job, he could slide over to guard and push Kyle Long to right tackle or simply become a reserve. Grasu is NFL ready and will push for that starting spot come training camp.
A few takeaways from the press conference
- Grasu’s thoughts on former Oregon teammate Kyle Long: “The guy's just a freak; he's a monster. 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. And it will definitely help us both going up against each other.”
- Grasu was asked if he’s faced second round pick Eddie Goldman: “I did (in last year's Rose Bowl). Very good player, very explosive. He’s a player I have a lot respect for. Going into that game I knew it was going to be huge challenge going up against him and I thought we both had really good games against each other.”
- Grasu’s thoughts on his strengths: “I have a lot of things I have to work on, first and foremost. I’ll do anything for the team. I’m all about the team. Whatever it takes to win a ballgame. Whatever it takes to get a first down. I’ll do whatever it takes. My knowledge of the game. I feel like I have a good amount of experience coming from Oregon. And going in and playing with Kyle [Long]. Kyle is my best friend. He’s a brother to me. Our relationship is unbelievable. It was like that at Oregon and now being able to continue that is unbelievable.”
Aaron Leming has years of salary cap knowledge and has written for Rant Sports, Bears Draft On Tap, and Cover 32. He is a regular contributor to Bear Report.