Bears add former No. 1 draft choice Germain Ifedi to offensive line
Bears general manager Ryan Pace continued his plan to plug holes on his roster with as many other teams' first round draft choices as possible Wednesday by adding offensive lineman Germain Ifedi on a one-year contract.
Ifedi was the 31st pick in the 2016 Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, and it's easy to see why he might appeal to Pace. In four years in Seattle he started 60 of a possible 64 games with his time split somewhat evenly between right guard and tackle.
On the face of it this signing would appear to create competition for the starting job at right guard with Rashaad Coward and Alex Bars while also giving the Bears a swing tackle option now that Cornelius Lucas has moved on to Washington.
Ifedi becomes the fourth former No. 1 pick the Bears have added along with Robert Quinn, Artie Burns and Barkevious Mingo.
While it is an interesting and understandable strategy part of the story is that other than Quinn all have been failed number one picks with their original teams.
Ifedi joined the Seahawks at a time when they had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL and was as much a need pick as the best available player.
He struggled mightily in 13 starts at right guard as a rookie and was moved to tackle in 2017 where he started all 16 games and was up and down, seemingly much improved for a few weeks only to take steps backward.
Ifedi split time at guard and tackle over the 2018 and 2019 games but did start 31 of 32 games.
While he is certainly an upgrade over what little depth the Bears currently have on the offensive line and could emerge as the starting right guard, it is worth noting that a Seattle team which still struggles up front did not elect to exercise his fifth year option or try to re-sign him.
What Efedi is, is a perfect fit for the type of prospects new offensive line coach Juan Castillo has had success with in the past as Arthur Arkush described in his column here Wednesday morning.
He is 6-6, 325 pounds and played his college football at Texas A&M where he was a freshman All American in 2013 and second team All SEC in 2015.
With the Efedi signing Pace has now plugged every perceived hole on his depth chart with the exception of any new additions to cover the departure of wide receiver Taylor Gabriel.
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