Long's performance through two preseason games has more than justified the hype. Despite starting just four games at guard in his one year at Oregon, the No. 20 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft has won the majority of his matchups against the defensive lines of the Carolina Panthers and San Diego Chargers. In fact, he's been downright beastly at times.
So Kyle Long played 33 snaps last night. Got a +5.7 grade! That's ridiculous for a guard.â Pro Football Focus (@PFF) August 16, 2013
Joining the Bears' starting lineup for the first time Thursday night against the Chargers, Long and rookie right tackle Jordan Mills paved the way for Matt Forte's 74 yards and one touchdown on eight carries, and the Bears converted 67 percent of their third downs.
"I can tell you that from practice ... (Long) is not making incremental increases in his play," Bears coach Marc Trestman said after Thursday's game, via the Chicago Tribune. "He's really ascending a little quicker than that."
Long still is learning technique, but he arguably was the most athletic interior lineman in his draft class. Throw in a pedigree as Hall of Famer Howie's son and St. Louis Rams sack artist Chris' brother, and there is potential for Kyle to develop into one of the NFL's most feared guards.