Bears Draft Target: Tyler Steen
Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

Bears Draft Target: Tyler Steen


by - Senior Writer -

Now that the Bears addressed the defensive side of the ball in free agency, primarily the LB unit, it is time to focus on the NFL draft, where this team still has plenty of needs to fill. Some of those needs remain on defense, but as usual, the offensive line continues to draw the most intrigue at this point.

After trading from the No. 1 pick down to the No. 9 pick, the options for the Bears became far more limited at No. 9 as some of their previous targets will most likely be gone by the time the team picks. Don't let that fool you, as there will still be plenty of talent on the board when this team picks at No. 9.

Guys like Paris Johnson and Peter Skoronski are the best OL prospects in this class, and if they are available when the Bears pick, it shouldn't shock anyone to see one of them end up in Chicago. However, if both of them are off the board when the Bears pick, what would their Plan B be for the No. 9 pick?

Would they go back to the defensive side of the ball and focus on the DL or secondary? Would they go offensive and potentially draft Bijon Robinson, whose name has been linked to the Bears? Or would they trade down in the draft and stay in the first round while potentially adding another piece to the roster?

If most of their primary targets are off the board when the No. 9 pick comes around, I wouldn't be surprised to see this team trade down, as it could benefit them more than you think. By doing that, they could add NFL talent to their current roster and still be in a position to target the offensive line later in the draft.

A potential late-round option for the OL would be Alabama OT Tyler Steen, who is falling under the radar regarding some of the better OL prospects in this year's class. Steen may not get the same recognition as some other OL products, but he is undoubtedly a name to watch.

Coming from Alabama is one thing, as more often than not, their offensive linemen pan out, but he is a four-year starter for the Crimson Tide and Vanderbilt which is hard to imagine. This guy has more experience than any other OL in this year's class and has that experience with one of the best programs in the country.

Steen spent his first three seasons with Vanderbilt before moving to Alabama, but to earn a starting spot the year he transferred over some of the talented player's Nick Saban brought in is worth noting. He started at right tackle as a freshman, then left tackle for the next two seasons. He transferred to Alabama and started every game at left tackle. That shows that he is not only experienced, but is versatile and can play multiple positions on the OL well.

That versatility came full circle at the senior bowl this year, where he participated in that event. He finished his career with 2,298 snaps at left tackle, and 749 at right tackle. Steen was invited to the Senior Bowl, and coaches had him line up everywhere, including center and both guard spots.

At 6-6 and 321 pounds, Steen not only has the height you look for in an OT, but has the size, strength, and arm length that could make him a franchise-caliber OT for years to come. That is a big reason why they moved him around during the senior bowl, as they wanted to see how he could do at other spots, and he did exceptionally well.

Despite being a powerful player, Steen plays extremely light on his feet, which allows him to react quickly off the snap. Not only can he make all the blocks needed, but he thrives in a zone-blocking scheme which is the same offense that Luke Getsy runs with the Bears.

If there is one knock on him thus far, his inconsistent technique can sometimes get him in trouble and leave him vulnerable against quicker pass rushers. Should Steen get that under control, he is an excellent prospect who can be a swing OT for a long time.

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