Here's a guard to keep in mind ... the Bears are believed to have keen interest in Southern Cal's Chilo Rachal, who figures to be picked anywhere from the end of the first round to the beginning of the third round.
Rachal, a self-described glass eater who played right guard last season. could have been the top-rated guard in next year’s class had he returned to school, but pressing family medical needs led to his early exit from Pete Carroll’s program. So he’s a little raw and rough around the edges, but the Trojans run a pro-style attack and Rachal is a physical force with a high ceiling.
Plus, the Bears like drafting underclassmen. You get a player that’s younger and with less wear and tear. That means he’s younger when it comes time for a second contract and you can feel better about a longterm investment if he pans out.
At 6-5, 315, Rachal is very athletic. He ran the 40 in 5.16 seconds at the combine and did 28 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press. He missed three games last season with a right knee injury, but did not allow a sack and was an all-Pac 10 selection. The Trojans pro day is Wednesday.
It’s possible the Bears could select an offensive tackle in the first round and then come back in the second round with a guard. While it wouldn’t address the team’s pressing need for some playmakers on offense, it would overhaul the line and potentially make it one of the club’s top strengths. General manager Jerry Angelo has gone after the same area twice to start a draft in the past. The Bears’ top two picks in 2004 were defensive tackles Tommie Harris and Tank Johnson. Two years later, Angelo drafted safety Danieal Manning and then cornerback Devin Hester with his first two selections.
So, keep an eye on Rachal with the draft now just 30 days off.
Here is a portion of Rachal’s Q & A from the combine last month:
Q: What can you bring to an NFL club?
A: Physicality. Good leadership skills.
Q: Describe your style?
A: Physical, mauler, glass-eater. I just bring that physicality to the line play.
Q: What was your process in deciding to leave school early?
A: The reason I came out early because is because of my mother. My mother has a tumor the size on a six-month old in her stomach, but my mother has no insurance. My dad’s deal with injuries - two hernias got taken out of his stomach - and he has no insurance. So basically I had an opportunity and I had to go. I would have loved to have comeback and get my degree and play another year under Coach Carroll. At the same time I had to do what’s best for my family.
Q: Is your mother in the hospital now?
A: She’s getting the treatment she can get now but without the good insurance you can’t get the treatment you really need.
Q: Who’s paying for treatment now?
A: No one really right now. The MediCal she gets from the government right now.
Q: Is she in Compton?
A: Yes my mother and father are still in Compton.
Q: when did you learn about her condition?
A: My mother didn’t want to tell me during the season because she thought it would take me off my game during the season. So she waited towards the end of the season to tell me. And once I knew I had to make the decision that was best for her.
Q: Do you have any siblings?
A: I have three brothers, one sister. I had two brothers that were killed and I have one brother that’s alive now and I have one sister. But the brother is the same dad, different mom.
Q: How did they die?
A: Violence, out in the streets.
Q: How did you avoid that?
A: Because my mom raised me differently that them. My mom and my dad did a good job of sheltering me from that stuff. Me knowing the path that they took and how they ended up, definitely motivated me.
Q: How old were you when they were killed?
A: One of my brothers was killed when I was born and another was when I was like nine.
Q: So was football an outlet for you?
A: Yes because a lot of people where I’m from don’t get this opportunity?
Q: You mentioned your dad and wheelbarrows…
A: My dad works in construction, he does construction. Me knowing the status of my dad, I don’t like my dad working like that with the injuries he’s dealing with. But at the same time he’s the one making money to take care of my mother.