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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
12/03/13 - RG Kyle Long suffered an ankle injury in the game and wore a boot cast to stabilize it afterward. However, Trestman said the injury is not serious and shouldn't keep Long from playing Monday night.
11/26/13 - RG Kyle Long was fined $8,000 for his behavior in a near brawl during the Rams game. Long's most serious crime in the incident was kicking at Rams defensive end William Hayes.
11/20/13 - G Kyle Long said it might be confusing for fans Sunday with three Longs on the field: himself, brother Chris and Rams tackle Jake Long.
"I was at a (autograph) signing (Tuesday) and a guy walked up to me and said, ‘Jake, I was very skeptical of the pick but you've had some very good tackles this year.' My head almost exploded out of confusion," Kyle Long said. "He's there getting a ball signed, he's got a Bears jersey, hundreds of dollars on memorabilia and, ‘I'm Kyle, man, I play on the offensive line.' I signed it Kyle but he wouldn't have known either way, I don't think."
09/19/13 - G Kyle Long practiced on a limited basis Wednesday due to a back injury. The fact Long did get on the field indicates the Bears don't expect this is a serious injury, but James Brown would be Long's backup if the problem lingers. Brown started out as a tackle when he came to Chicago as an undrafted rookie last year but was moved to guard and had the spot at the outset of training camp before Long became more familiar. Brown is a little less mobile, definitely better at run blocking at this point than pass blocking.
09/04/13 - RG Kyle Long will get to face Pro Bowl DT Geno Atkins in his debut. "It's something that you grew up watching guys like Geno Atkins," he said. "So obviously to get a chance to play against him will be a real test." Long discounts the talk that speed of play will be much quicker in the regular season for himself and rookie RT Jordan Mills. "In all honesty, there's fast guys out here at practice, so we've seen the speed," he said. "We understand that this one counts."