Bears' Kyle Long to prospects: Don't pass up Senior Bowl invite

Chicago Bears offensive tackle Kyle Long made himself a social-media poster boy Monday for the draft value that a strong performance at the Reese's Senior Bowl can create. The former Oregon Ducks offensive lineman had very limited experience at the college level, yet was chosen No. 20 overall by the Bears in 2013, three months after a scintillating Senior Bowl:

While Long's Senior Bowl week no doubt had a positive impact on his draft status, it definitely wasn't the sole reason he rose to first-round status. Of benefit as well, to be sure, was the athleticism he showed as the third-fastest offensive lineman at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.



Long's words of advice to college seniors comes on the heels of Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook's decision to decline a Senior Bowl invitation. Though Cook hasn't publicly disclosed the reason he declined the invitation -- medical reasons are a common cause of declined invites -- NFL Media analysts believe that a healthy Cook would have been wise to accept the invitation.



The annual all-star game in Mobile, Ala., attracts NFL executives, scouts and coaches for a week each January to evaluate many of the top college seniors and a smattering of fourth-year juniors that are eligible if they have graduated. The Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staffs will lead two 55-man rosters at this year's event. The game is set for a Jan. 30 kickoff at 2:30 p.m., broadcast by NFL Network (complete broadcast schedule).

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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