Bears draft class in tow with Long’s signing

Bears first-round choice Kyle Long is in the fold.

Bears first-round choice Kyle Long is in the fold.

The Chicago Bears have their 2013 rookie draft class signed, sealed, and delivered with the announcement that first-round choice Kyle Long inked a four-year deal with the club Friday evening. It continues a recent trend of having all the draft picks under contract prior to the start of training camp.

The Bears selected Long with the 20th choice of the first-round in April’s NFL Draft out of the University of Oregon. The 6-6, 313-pound Long played in 11 games for the Ducks in 2012, starting the final four contests at left guard.  He spent two seasons (2010-11) at Saddleback Community College spending 2010 at defensive end before making the transition to offensive line in 2011.Long is the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long and the brother of St. Louis Rams DE Chris Long. He was somewhat of a surprise choice given his limited experience in college (five career starts at Oregon), but the Bears were impressed with his athletic skills and he made a favorable impression at January’s Senior Bowl event and the NFL scouting combine.

Long will have an opportunity to play right away. The Bears installed him at right guard during last week’s rookie mini-camp, and early evaluations indicated he could be targeted as one of the team’s top five offensive linemen when camp opens in Bourbonnais in July.

In whole. the entire Bears draft class could be on the opening day roster in September. LB’s Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene are targeted for, at least, heavy roles on special teams, while DE Cornelius Washington and WR Marquess Wilson could see spot duty. OT/OG Jordan Mills, the Bears fifth-round selection, appears the most raw member of the group, but he has potential upside as a swing player who could give the team flexibility down the road.


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