The NFL’s best guards, No. 9: Kyle Long, Bears

The Bears’ defensive upgrades earned deserved praise this off-season. However, moving Long back to guard from the right tackle spot he played in 2015 could be as critical a change as anything else. That is, if presumed starting tackles Charles Leno and Bobby Massie hold up well enough to allow Long to stick there—at least in Leno’s case, there are ample reasons for worry. But Long was a second-team All-Pro as an interior lineman back in ’14, and that is the spot where he A) is better and B) seems more comfortable. Long did not allow a single sack during the ’14 season as a guard; he coughed up nine on the outside in ’15, per STATS. In either spot he can be counted on in the run game, due to how well he moves for a 315-pounder. Long’s size, length and athleticism all combined to make him an OT candidate when the Bears needed one. They’re also all part of why he is exceptional as a guard.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.