INDIANAPOLIS -- It's obvious to identify offensive line help as a need for the Chicago Bears in the upcoming draft, but other than the ability to keep clean the jersey of quarterback Jay Cutler, it's difficult to pin down the attributes coveted by the team in offensive linemen.
Bears general manager Phil Emery tried to explain during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"What you want in offensive linemen No. 1 is you want production," Emery said. "You want guys that produce consistently at least at a good level play after play. You call those starters."
The problem in 2012 however, was the Bears never developed that consistency. Chicago's offensive line gave up 44 sacks last season (eighth in the NFL), and finished the year as one of 11 teams to give up 40 sacks or more.
The unit also used seven combinations of starters throughout the season. With free agency approaching as well as the draft, it's expected the offensive line will see a facelift in 2013.
Emery pointed out what he likes to see when scouting offensive linemen.
"You're looking for guys that have the size, the mass, strength and the quickness to accomplish (consistent play) at the NFL level," he said. "Those defensive linemen on average are more athletic than their counterparts on offense. So you also have to have somebody that has good football sense and smarts, and good toughness because he's gonna have to bounce back to reach that consistent level when he normally plays against someone that has a little more speed and quickness than he has."