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Out of all of the selections by Phil Emery over the course of the weekend, the selection of Kyle Long with Chicago's first pick was the most confusing to some.
With Long's troubled past and relative inexperience (four career starts), it is easy to understand why some would not agree with the selection, but when you see the tape, you can understand why the Bears fell in love with him.
He has incredible athleticism for his size (6'6", 313 lbs), and despite his limited starts, he showed the ability to be a pulling guard and to get himself into the second level of defense. He needs to work on his technique, particularly in how he engages a defender as he tends to lunge instead of "manning up" with them.
Emery noted that Long's athleticism and size could eventually result in him playing tackle but said he'd likely begin at guard (h/t Chicago Sun-Times):
He’s going to start out at guard. We feel like he can be a starting right tackle. We feel like he can be a good left tackle in this league so that’s part of what attracted us to him, to Kyle.
The Bears are set for the upcoming season with new addition Jermon Bushrod at left tackle, and with the newly signed Matt Slauson expected to play the right guard position, Long will get the chance to battle James Brown, an undrafted free agent last season, for the left guard position.
First-round picks are expected to play early, and those expectations should be no different for Long. Although Brown showed some nice flashes at the end of last season, Long should already have a slight upper hand and should be expected to be the starter at left guard beginning Week 1.