Insider Analysis: G Andy Levitre

The Chicago Bears got good play from their guards this year, but improvements can still be made. Andy Levitre, a promising player from Oregon State, drew the team's attention at the Senior Bowl. Bear Report consults with Oregon State expert Barry Bolton for some insider analysis on the Beaver blocker.

The Monsters of the Midway have two dependable starting guards in Josh Beekman and Roberto Garza, and while Beekman is young and might improve still, Garza is on the downside of his career. But there is very little behind them on the depth chart right now, and veteran Terrence Metcalf in particular is a candidate to be cut before next season. During Senior Bowl week in Mobile, Bears officials singled out Oregon State guard Andy Levitre as one of their favorite prospects.

In an effort to learn more about Levitre and what kind of future might be in front of him as a professional, Bear Report obtained a full scouting report on him from Oregon State expert Barry Bolton.

The Skinny: Levitre does everything well. In the USC win, he was regularly seen blocking his man seven yards downfield. As a pass blocker, he has great feet and led a line that allowed just 1.62 sacks per game. He has excellent balance and strength.

On and Off the Field: Athleticism and versatility are overused terms in scouting reports, but the 6-2.5, 317-pound Levitre excelled at each guard and tackle spot over his career at Oregon State, where he made 34 consecutive starts. As for coachability, offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh doesn't dish out praise lightly, and he's said Levitre is simply the best lineman he has ever coached over his time in the game.

G Andy Levitre
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Bolton Says: Early indications suggest that Levitre will go somewhere in the second round, but he could move up or down from that depending on how he performs at the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this February. A writer from Sports Illustrated thinks he may have slid based on his Senior Bowl performance to as far as Round 4, but other reports indicate Levitre had a very good week down in Mobile and helped himself.

JC's Take: The Bears could open the 2009 season with Beekman and Garza back in the starting lineup at guard and be satisfied, although there is definitely some room on the 53-man roster for young talent at that position. Metcalf has never been able to hold on to a starting job in seven years with the organization, while 2006 sixth-round pick Tyler Reed has spent three worthless years on the practice squad. Garza needs to be pushed in training camp because he peaked as a player long ago, while Beekman's best position one day may be center.

Rarely are guards worthy of first-round selections since tackles are always higher regarded in this league, but Levitre would make for a fine selection for the Bears in Round 3 if he's still available.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report. Barry Bolton is the Publisher of

State of the Texans Top Stories