Bears feel Colombo is on the Marc

In the end, the Bears filled a need at left tackle by choosing Marc Colombo with the 29th selection. Despite playing his entire career at right tackle, until his senior season, Columbo will likely replace the recently departed Blake Brockermeyer.

"We feel he has all the traits to be a fine tackle for us, in particular left tackle," said Bears GM Jerry Angelo, who is running his first draft with the Bears. "He will have a bigger learning curve than some of the other left tackles because he played just half the season at left tackle."

The 6-7, 313 pounder out of Boston College began the 2001 season at right tackle, but shifted to left tackle three games into the season. He sprained his right medial collateral ligament and missed some time, then re-injured it at the start of the Notre Dame game and missed the rest of the regular season but returned for the Music City Bowl.

Colombo was picked to be a second round choice in most mock drafts. Still, Angelo is confident Colombo wasn't a reach late in the first round.

"I don't know what (too) high is I don't know what (too) low is. I just know what good is," Angelo said. "We always look for that dirt so to speak and we couldn't find any. He looks too good to be true we haven't found a chink in the armor yet."

With his size Colombo has a large wingspan, which can really be an asset since he'll protecting Jim Miller's blindside.

However, Colombo was excited about the chance to run block for the Bears.

"I think it's an unbelievable opportunity they're a smash mouth football team and I think I'll fit in real good," Colombo said.

Colombo described himself as a hard nose player that goes all out on every play, but his aggressive style has earned him the reputation of a dirty player.

"I kind of like to play with an edge. I play to the whistle, but not dirty," Colombo said.

The chances of a rookie tackle coming in and being an effective starter are slim, but head coach Dick Jauron said he expects Colombo to play a major role.

"When you draft a player in the first round you expect to come and contribute in some way," Jauron said.

The Bears also have Bernard Robertson, who was the team's fifth round choice last year, to use as a potential replacement for Brockermeyer at tackle. Either way the Bears management wanted to add depth at tackle with the free agent loss of Jimmy Herndon.

There were several defensive end candidates coming into the draft, but names like Dwight Freeney, Bryan Thomas and Charles Grant were gone by the time the Bears were on the clock.

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