The Bears on Saturday selected back-to-back offensive linemen in the seventh round of the NFL Draft, picking Colorado's Arlington Hambright at No. 226 and Tennessee State's Lachavious Simmons at No. 227.
Last season as a graduate student at Colorado, Hambright started all 12 games at left tackle and was named honorable mention All-Pac 12 by the league's coaches. The 6-4, 300-pounder transferred to Colorado after earning his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma State last May.
Hambright started his college career at Garden City Community College in Kansas before enrolling at Oklahoma State, where he redshirted in 2017. In 2018, he started the first five games before suffering an injury that sidelined him until he returned for the Liberty Bowl.
At Garden City, Hambright was part of an 11-0 NJCAA national championship team as a sophomore.
Speaking to the Chicago media on a conference call Saturday, Hambright reflected on his unique journey to the NFL.
"It's crazy, it's definitely a blessing," he said. "All I can do is thank God, my family, and just keep working. I'm just ready to get in there and prove to the Chicago Bears that they picked the right guy."
Hambright describes himself as a physical and athletic player who is "good with my feet and hands." He also feels that his versatility will enable him to line up at either tackle or guard with the Bears.
"I feel like I can play any position on the offensive line and I feel like that's part of the reason why they selected me," Hambright said. "I'll just try to learn every position on the line and I think I can play either or, inside or out."
Hambright is thrilled that the Bears were the team that drafted him.
"Man, it's amazing, just having my name being selected and being in Chicago," he said. "I'm a Midwest guy myself, I'm from Ypsilanti, Michigan, so I know what type of culture they have there in Chicago. I know they are very blue collar and I'm just ready to get down there and get to work."
Simmons, meanwhile, played every offensive line position except center during four seasons at Tennessee State, appearing in 41 games.
During a conference call with the media, the 6-5, 315-pounder described himself as a "bloody-your-nose type of guy on the field."
"I'm a physical player with long arms and I like to dominate blocks," Simmons said. "I just like playing physical and playing to the end of the whistle and just finishing my blocks."
Simmons is also proud of his work ethic, something he says stems from growing up in rural Orrville, Ala., which had a population of 210, according to the 2010 census.
"I'm a guy who can compete on the first day in because I was born on a farm," Simmons said. "I'm a blue-collar guy who grew up on a farm, throwing hay bales, disciplined. I feel like my hard work, it can match anybody's."
In January, Simmons improved his draft stock and learned how to be a professional while participating in the Hula Bowl.
"I went down there and I think I performed well," he said, "and a lot of teams saw how I can move and play different positions, and that helped me out a lot.
"The most valuable part of the Hula Bowl experience was getting coached by Rex Ryan, learn how to be a pro, and to work with different guys around the league who are on the same journey as you trying to get drafted. It was just fun. I enjoyed my time out there in Hawaii."