Day-2 Tackle Impresses Bears

Quarterbacks threw interceptions, tailbacks failed to break big runs, and receivers dropped passes, but poor blocking up front was the biggest problem for the Chicago Bears on offense this past season. Team officials targeted one below-the-radar tackle prospect they like at the NFL Combine. Who is he?

Bears fans can talk all they want about getting a franchise quarterback, bringing in a more dynamic running back, or beefing up the receiving corps, but none of that skill-position talent will succeed until this offensive line is fixed. While GM Jerry Angelo thought he could squeeze one more year out of an experienced group, Olin Kreutz and Co. finally started to show their age and did not have a very good 2007. Tackle Fred Miller was released Feb. 18 and guard Ruben Brown will also not be back, so expect at least two new starters up front this coming season.

Half a dozen tackle prospects have been given a first-round grade by most scouts in this April's NFL Draft, but since this team has so many holes to fill, GM Jerry Angelo is apparently scanning down the list to see if he can find a second-day bargain.


OT William Robinson
Michael Conroy/AP Images

Bear Report has confirmed that Bears officials spent considerable time in Indianapolis scouting William Robinson of San Diego State, an All-Mountain West Conference honorable mention selection as a senior.

A two-year starter at left tackle for the Aztecs, Robinson looks like a tight end because he's a little bit undersized at 286 pounds and displays good athleticism. He shows solid effort at the point of attack and is long enough to give rushers problems, but he doesn't have much of an anchor and can get pushed back too easily. Robinson pulled a quadriceps muscle Saturday running the 40-yard dash at the Combine and could not continue workouts, although he did complete 22 reps at 225 pounds – about average for an offensive lineman – on the bench press Friday.

Robinson will probably have to spend a year on the practice squad in order to get bigger and stronger, just like the Bears did with fellow tackle Mark LeVoir of Notre Dame – he was nabbed by St. Louis on Nov. 14.

The Midway Monsters do have two young guards who could compete for playing time, `07 fourth-rounder Josh Beekman and `06 sixth-rounder Tyler Reed, but veteran backup John St. Clair is the only other tackle assured of a roster spot aside from starter John Tait.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


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