The Chicago Bears hired Matt Nagy as their new head coach earlier this week, and on Wednesday he made an important hiring decision. Nagy hired Harry Hiestand to serve as his offensive line coach. Hiestand was the Bears line coach from 2005 to 2009, before taking the same job with the University of Tennessee in 2010 and 2011, and then the same job plus run game coordinator at Notre Dame from 2012 to 2017.
The offensive line hiring is important given the attempts to develop quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Football Outsiders ranked the Bears No. 23 in adjusted sack rate, and No. 29 in adjusted line yards. It’s safe to say improvement is needed from that group.
The Bears have some solid pieces for the offensive line, but there are still several holes. Left guard Josh Sitton has looked solid, and left tackle Charles Leno has shown some upside. But they need a lot of help on the right side. Notre Dame has a pair of offensive lineman that could end up going in the first round, including guard Quenton Nelson and offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey.
The Bears hold the No. 8 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, while the San Francisco 49ers are right behind them at No. 9/10. Many 49ers fans are high Quenton Nelson as an option to lock down one of the guard spots. Guards don’t usually go super high in the first round. Jonathan Cooper and Chance Womack went seventh and tenth, respectively, in the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then, no guard has gone higher than 28th. That’s not to say Nelson will slip further, but maybe the Bears focus on the tackle option, or look for a playmaker to help Trubisky, given their lack of quality skill position players.