Chicago Bears 2012 Draft: Tight End Evan Rodriguez Is Fourth-Round Pick

Luke CarltonContributor IIIApril 28, 2012

COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 24: Tight end Evan Rodriguez #88 of the Temple Owls carries the ball after making a catch against the Maryland Terrapins  at Byrd Stadium on September 24, 2011 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Chicago kicked off its portion of Day 3 of the NFL draft on Saturday by taking Temple tight end Evan Rodriguez.

The Bears passed on improving the offensive line again, but they did address a position of need after offensive coordinator Mike Martz had discounted any need for a pass-catching tight end.

Though tight ends such as Orson Charles and James Hanna were still on the board, Phil Emery and Co. decided that Rodriguez, who finished last year with 35 receptions for 479 yards and two touchdowns, was the guy to challenge Kellen Davis for the starting job.

Rodriguez, who stands 6'1" and weighs 242 pounds, ran a 4.58 40-yard dash, the third-fastest from a tight end at the combine. He also had the highest vertical jump, proving the Bears see athleticism in the Temple product.

After Chicago traded up to take Alshon Jeffery in the second round on Friday, this pick gives Jay Cutler yet another weapon in the passing game.

Rodriguez projects to be a tight ed in the NFL, though the Bears may look to use him as an H-Back. He is a physically gifted and tough player who can use his speed and jumping prowess to create defensive mismatches.

Rodriguez will join tight ends Kellen Davis, Matt Spaeth, Kyle Adams and Andre Smith. With no clear starter in the pack, the competition for the starting job will be worth watching.