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If the Long name rings a bell, it should. Kyle is the younger brother of St. Louis Rams Pro Bowl defensive end Chris Long, and his father is Pro Football Hall of Fame member and FOX Sports analyst Howie Long.
A two-sport athlete in high school, Kyle Long decided to play baseball at Florida State, and with a mid-90s fastball as a lefty, who could blame him for choosing his first love? But that only lasted a year as he struggled with academics and had a DUI arrest.
After returning home, Kyle enrolled at Saddleback Junior College where he played for two seasons, first at defensive end (16 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack) and then switching over to the offensive line in his second season at the junior college level.
Characterized by Howie and Chris as the most athletic member of the family, it was easy to understand why Kyle was highly recruited out of Saddleback despite his lack of experience. He signed with the Ducks amid some fanfare and served as a valuable backup at left tackle before switching to left guard midway through the season. We wound up playing in 11 games for the Ducks in 2012, starting four games (all at left guard). Long petitioned the NCAA for another year of eligibility but was denied and therefore finds himself headed to the NFL with just four career starts at the FCS level.
Big, physical and remarkably athletic, Long possesses the upside to warrant early round consideration. He is, however, quite inexperienced and therefore a significant roll of the dice if selected any earlier than Day Three.
STRENGTHS: Certainly looks the part. Possesses a naturally large frame with long arms. Impressive athlete. Light on his feet and possesses good balance and flexibility for a man of his size.
Very mobile. Often asked to block on the move in this scheme, demonstrating very good lateral agility and straight-line speed, as well as the short-area quickness to adjust and hit the moving target. Flashs some nastiness to his game. Doesn't back down from physical challenges. Has heavy hands and can stun opponents with his initial punch.
Keeps his legs driving on contact and can move defenders out of the hole. Enjoyed a solid performance in the Senior Bowl, itself, after missing a few days of practice with the flu. Clear talent and is just scratching the surface of his potential.
WEAKNESSES: Isn't the sum of his parts yet. Has rotated between left tackle and left guard over just two seasons playing on the offensive line and has been protected a bit by Oregon's quick-hitting scheme which rarely asks their offensive linemen to maintain blocks for very long.
Has a tendency to punch at his defender, rather than latch on and needs to develop better hand placement, in general. Athletic enough to adjust on the fly but lacks experience and is prone to mental errors against surprise stunts, blitzes.
Was unable to compete for the most important two days of practice at the Senior Bowl (Tuesday, Wednesday) due to a bout of the flu, missing out on a chance to impress scouts. His DUI charge while at Florida State will have to be investigated by teams.
Compares to: Jason Peters, OT, Philadelphia Eagles -- Peters was originally a defensive lineman before making the transition to tight end in college and ultimately emerging as a quality offensive tackle for the Bills (and later signing with the Eagles).
His impressive combination of size and athleticism gave him a shot at the NFL despite having no experience as an offensive lineman. Long is similarly large and athletic but has two years head start on Peters and, of course, has his famous family to help him get an opportunity in the league. A team willing to gamble on his significant upside could win big.
Switched to the offensive line at Saddleback for the 2011 season, where he played for head coach Mark McElroy ... Initially a defensive end, recorded 16 tackles, two tackles for a loss and one sack in 2010.
Prepped at At. Anne's-Belfield High School under head coach John Blake ... Participated in the U.S. Army All-American game as a high school senior ... Recorded 45 tackles in his junior season ... Named to the Division 2 all-state VISSA first team as both an offensive and defensive lineman as a junior in 2006 ... Helped St. Anne's Belfield to back-to-back state championships his final two prep seasons ... Was a two-sport All-American in high school and earned all-state honors for both football and baseball in his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons ... Was also a very accomplished pitcher and first baseman ... Accepted a baseball scholarship at Florida State out of high school.
Parents: Howie and Diane Long. Family: Two brothers. Major: Sociology. Brother, Chris, plays defensive end for the NFL's St. Louis Rams and father, Howie, was an all-pro defensive end for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders and is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame.
Draft Scout Player News
06/17/15 - G Kyle Long remained at tackle again Wednesday at the Bears minicamp, but this time moved over to the left side instead of the right.
Head coach John Fox called it more a case of building depth and versatility into the line at a time when the team can afford this.
"I think it's an injustice to just throw a guy, even as simple as it sounds, left to right, whether you're doing it with a corner or an outside backer or a guard or a tackle -- they need to practice it," Fox said. "This is a good time of the year to kind of get the technique, the sets, and all of the different communication that has to happen with the O-line."
02/21/15 - G Kyle Long could switch to tackle, but no decision has been made. That move would take better advantage of his athletic abilities at a more difficult position to play. The start of a new coaching regime seems like an ideal time to do this.
"He's very athletic and he's very well-rounded," GM Ryan Pace said. "I think he can play multiple positions on the offensive line. Again, that's ongoing, too. That fit, with him. He has that skill set. We haven't gotten that specific with him yet."
12/22/14 - RG Kyle Long had suffered a late-week hip injury that limited him at Friday's practice and was a last-minute scratch for the game. This meant a start for the Michael Ola at right guard for the first time, while Ryan Groy started at left guard. It was the ninth different starting offensive line used by the Bears this season, but they had only two sacks Sunday, two less than Detroit's Matthew Stafford was sacked.
08/05/14 - RG Kyle Long has returned to practice after missing more than a week to start camp with a viral infection.
07/30/14 - OG Kyle Long received clearance to return to practice after a viral infection kept him out of it for five practices. However, he'll be worked back in gradually. Coach Marc Trestman said it would be the weekend before he begins to put on pads.
"He's got to get his legs back underneath him," Trestman said, adding, "So he's missed out, no doubt about it, and we'll to accelerate the process as soon as he gets back in there."
The offense functioned fine while he was away because veteran Eben Britton filled in, but the offensive line depth is largely untested, much as the receiver depth is. The Bears offensive line did not have a starter miss a game last year, and Britton played in the regular-season finale due to an in-game foot injury to right tackle Jordan Mills.