New Bears tackle Jordan Mills inadvertently sent a very strong message to Jonathan Scott, J’Marcus Webb and anyone else between him and a starting job.
Asked what he knew about the Bears’ offense following his selection in the fifth round by the Bears, Mills mentioned Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and the other guys he envisions playing with.
“I know they just got the tackle from New Orleans, Jermon Bushrod,” Mills said, adding without any bravado, “Him on the left side, me on the right side, that’s going to be an offensive line to reckon with and me with [No. 1 pick] Kyle Long also. Seeing him at the combine, seeing I got to talk to him also, it’s going to be good.
“The offensive line is going to be good. I’m going to show my leadership and just learn behind Bushrod and everybody else and just soak up all that I can.”
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General manager Phil Emery made a couple of lesser moves last offseason to address the offensive line, being of the mind that the Bears had a couple of young tackles (Gabe Carimi, Webb) with upsides. No draft choices for the line.
This year, after making left tackle Bushrod the top free-agency priority, Emery has invested two of his first four draft picks on the offensive line. After using a first-round pick on Long, the Bears selected Mills, a 6-5, 316 pound guard/tackle from Louisiana Tech after dealing down 10 picks in the fifth round in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons.
The deal brought the Bears a seventh-round pick to replace the one traded to the Tampa Bays last training camp for defensive tackle Brian Price.
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Mills, the cousin of Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams, is the third four-year college player drafted by Emery in 2013. He started five games at guard as a freshman, then switched to tackle and started 29 of 30 games his next three years.
“Anywhere the coaches want to put me to play is good with me,” said Mills. “If they put me as a lead blocker, I’ll do it.”
Did you hear that, Evan Rodriguez?