While the Bears have brought in some big-name players they were considering in the first round on pre-draft visits in the past, most of the players they bring to Halas Hall are either late-round prospects or players that are being considered as undrafted priority free agents.
The team usually doesn't have medical information on those players because they did not get invited to the combine. So, a pre-draft visit allows them to put the player through a full battery of medical tests to ensure any investment is worthwhile.
One player scheduled for a visit next week is Eastern Michigan offensive tackle T.J. Lang, and he's not going to last into the late rounds. Lang is a hot climber in the draft right now and his visit to the Bears is one of just seven he currently has scheduled.
Lang will also visit Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Green Bay, Jacksonville and San Diego. He wasn't really on the radar for a lot of teams and he was passed over for the combine. But he shined at the Texas vs. The Nation all-star game. When teams went to do more work on him after that, they liked the tape they saw and interest just continues to build.
It's not unlike what happened with Jason Jones, a defensive end from Eastern Michigan. He was another off-the-radar guy last season who started building momentum. It didn't stop until Tennessee drafted him in the second round. He had five sacks as a rookie including 3 1/2 with three forced fumbles in a Week 16 meeting with Pittsburgh.
At this rate, Lang could climb all of the way into the second round. A left tackle in school, he projects as a right tackle or possibly a guard. Here's a video breakdown of him.
Keep an eye on him moving forward.