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A new left tackle is needed to protect Jay Cutler.
Phil Emery has defended J’Marcus Webb several times during his career, but Webb’s ineptitude as a pass-blocking left tackle will likely lead to a change. There are actually a lot of tackles available in free agency, but Emery seems to really value youth at this position.
Eric Fisher has the prototypical build of a franchise left tackle (6’7”, 305), and he has incredibly quick feet to go with it. His agility would serve him well guarding Jay Cutler’s blind side.
Fisher spent most of his time at Central Michigan as a left tackle, and he distinguished himself as an All-MAC player his junior and senior years.
Some may be skeptical of Fisher’s ability since he played in the MAC. Joe Staley, a two-time Pro Bowler, also played at Central Michigan. Fisher said himself in a Yahoo! Sports article with Kevin Fishbain that “I had a chip on my shoulder coming out of a MAC school.”
The only problem is that Fisher’s stock skyrocketed since the Senior Bowl, and he might be drafted closer to where Luke Joeckel is projected than the second round. A large, quick and athletic left tackle would be a steal for the Bears at 20th overall if he is available.
Other First-Round Picks to Consider
Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
Jones is an extremely versatile and talented offensive lineman who could play any position. Considering the shaky state of the Bears offensive line, his flexibility could be vital. Jones might also be the next Olin Kreutz.
If Emery pursues a left tackle in free agency, adding Jones in the first round would give spectacular line coach Aaron Kromer plenty to work with.
Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
The Heisman candidate was a sure tackler the entire season—until the National Championship Game. Te’o misread some plays and missed some easy tackles on the nation’s biggest stage, which hurt his stock.
With Brian Urlacher creeping toward retirement, it’s important to get an heir for the Monsters of the Midway.
Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Ertz and Tyler Eifert are very similar prospects: athletic, big-bodied tight ends with great hands. Either would be an upgrade over Kellen Davis in the passing game.
Ertz gets the advantage because he’s slightly speedier (the Vernon Davis effect).