By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) The Bears selected Oregon offensive lineman Kyle Long Thursday night with the 20th overall pick in the NFL Draft.
With a number of options on the board, there was speculation that the Bears would try to trade back, but general manager Phil Emery decided not to pass on Kyle Long, who most did not project to be drafted that high.
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“Kyle was the player that we targeted,” Emery said. “We targeted him for the last couple of weeks. He had to be gone for us to move back. We were not going to move off that spot if Kyle Long was still there.”
Long is the son of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long. The Bears list him at 6-6, 313 and Emery said he has the ability to play both tackle positions, but he’ll begin his NFL career as a guard. Long played in 11 games at Oregon last season, starting the final four games at left guard.
While the pick might seem surprising, Long does fit into the mold that Emery has preached in the past: athletic and versatile. The general manager said Long rates as a 9.0 on their grading scale, which is the highest grade a player can get.
“He rates as rare,” Emery said.
The GM did admit, however, that the Bears would not have traded up to get Long if they felt like another team was going to take him.
“I wasn’t surprised that I ended up being picked by the Bears,” Long said over the phone. “I thought I had a great visit with (Offensive Coordinator Aaron) Kromer.”
Long’s lack of experience will certainly get some attention. He only played one season at Oregon after transferring from Saddleback Community College. He originally went to Florida State to play baseball but was arrested in January 2009 for a DUI and left the school after flunking out. At Saddleback, he joined the football team and played defensive end for one season before switching to the offensive line. In 2012, he transferred to Oregon. Following the season, Long appealed for an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA but was denied.
Prior to going to Florida State, Long was a 23rd round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox as a pitcher in 2008.
Among the players still available to the Bears at No. 20 were tight end Tyler Eifert, linebacker Manti Te’o, linebacker Alec Ogletree, cornerback Desmond Trufant, defensive tackle Sylvester Williams and defensive tackle Shariff Floyd.
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