Bears Visit with Golden Domer

The Bears are likely to address the offensive line at some point in the draft. For the second straight day, we chronicle a guard the team has shown enough interest in to bring to Halas Hall.

Scout.com has confirmed Notre Dame G Dan Stevenson has had a private workout with the Bears.

The 6-foot-6 300-pound Stevenson proved to be a durable performer for the Irish. He started his last 34 games as a three-year starter at the right guard.

The Barrington native has also worked out for New England. The Patriots should know what players to scout from Notre Dame because Charlie Weis, their former offensive coordinator, is now the head coach for the Irish.

Scout.com ranks Stevenson as the eighth best guard prospect, but all of the higher rated players share the same three-star rating. Meaning there is no consensus as to who should be the first guard taken in the draft.

Stevenson is likely to come off the board in the middle rounds. Depending on what happens with restricted free agent CB Ricky Manning Jr. the Bears could be without a third round selection. If Stevenson is still available on the second day of the draft, general manager Jerry Angelo could pull the trigger. He has failed to address the offensive line in each of the past two drafts, which is a first in franchise history.

The Bears are set at guard heading into 2006 with Ruben Brown and Roberto Garza as the projected starters, while Terrence Metcalf is the top reserve at both spots. However, Brown is in the final year of his contract and at 34 he's unlikely to be around past this season. Garza and Metcalf have both battled injury problems throughout their careers.

Stevenson is capable of sitting as a rookie and then challenging for a starting job in his second year. He played in a pro style offense under Weis for a season, which should give him an advantage as he makes the jump to the NFL.

TFY Draft Preview Scouting Report
Positive:
Hard-working blocker with a good degree of upside potential. Plays with excellent lean, keeps his feet moving throughout the action and anchors at the point. Explosive, jolts defenders and flashes footwork sliding laterally. Plays heads-up football and works well with teammates.

Negative: Marginally strong as a run blocker and rarely gets movement. Not effective on the second level.

Analysis: A good-sized guard with growth potential, Stevenson elevated his play as a senior and could develop into a starting NFL guard as he physically matures.


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