Promising Future

The Bears were already building arguably the best offensive line in football before the draft. That was before Chicago drafted Boston College tackle Marc Colombo and G Terrence Metcalf of Mississippi in the first day of last Saturday's annual college draft.

In one day the Bears may have found the final pieces to the best offensive line in the NFL for years to come.

Colombo and Metcalf were both projected by TFY Draft Preview as mid-second round draft picks. Colombo was the 28th pick of the first round and Bears general manager Jerry Angelo felt he was the top offensive tackle on the board at that point in the draft. Metcalf fell late into the third round where Angelo snatched up the guard with his second selection of the round.

Both Metcalf and Colombo bring an image of tough play.

"We like our lineman big and mean and this guy (Metcalf) fits that mold," Angelo said.

Jauron compared Colombo's on the field attitude to another Bears lineman.

"Marc certainly seems to have some of the same qualities in temperament as Olin (Kreutz) has," Jauron said. "He is a very tough minded guy on the field, within the rules. That attitude is what we want our team to have. It is what our franchise is about."

With Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz signing a new contract this off-season and Pro Bowl alternate guard Rex Tucker expected to sign a long term extension after signing a one year tender offer last week the future of the Bears offensive line looks bright. Throw in last year's fifth round pick Bernard Robertson, who can play guard or tackle and progressed last season.

The recent release of left tackle Blake Brockermeyer means either Colombo or Robertson are expected to replace him. Right tackle James Williams is believed to have one or two more productive years left in him. Guard Chris Villarrial has been a consistent starter for the past three seasons. With his contract expiring in two seasons the Bears will be faced with a difficult decision to keep him.

Metcalf may be a big factor in their decision. If he progresses like Rex Tucker did coming out of Texas A&M in the third round in 1999 the Bears starting offensive line could look like this in three years.

Left Tackle- Marc Colombo, Left Guard- Rex Tucker, Center- Olin Kreutz, Right Guard- Terrance Metcalf, Right Tackle Bernard Robertson.

The Bears have put themselves in a position to have the best offensive line in football for the next decade.


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