Hinsdale native Doug Kramer ready for his opportunity with Bears: 'Dream come true'


(670 The Score) New Bears general manager Ryan Poles approached his first NFL Draft in Chicago with a clear strategy. Part of it was to stockpile picks in the later rounds and to use them to select players he believes are worth a chance.

Perhaps none of Poles’ 11 picks in this draft was more excited for that opportunity than sixth-round center Doug Kramer, a Hinsdale native and five-year starter at Illinois. He grew up a diehard Bears fan and owned jerseys of franchise greats like Brian Urlacher and Olin Kreutz, and he had long dreamed of a day like May 1 when he heard his name called to Chicago.

“Dream come true, for sure,” Kramer said after being drafted by the Bears.

Kramer, 23, is a bit undersized at 6-foot-2 and an even 300 pounds, but the Bears found him to be a worthwhile investment. The Bears’ scouts saw him work around that with solid technique and the ability to create lower leverage.

As if drive-blocking a Big Ten defensive lineman doesn’t prove that, Kramer showcased his power by pushing a pickup truck in a viral video in March 2020. Beyond just his strength, Kramer also caught the Bears’ attention by becoming a leader at Illinois.

“Kind of a take-charge guy,” said Bears national scout Jeff Shiver, who scouted Kramer. “He melts into the team well, blends well. He’s not the mean-guy leader. Everybody likes him, but he can call guys out.

“He can get on a teammate and the teammate will respect him for his correction.”

Kramer currently projects as a developmental interior lineman. For now, he'll get the chance to work under Chicago’s new regime and coaching staff, to learn from an NFL veteran in Lucas Patrick and to continue his growth in the league.

It’s an opportunity Kramer relishes with his favorite team.

“It’s crazy to think just growing up a diehard Bears fan,” he said. “This means the world to me and my family.”

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.

Listen live to 670 The Score via:
Audacy App  |  Online Stream  |  Smart Speaker

Featured Image Photo Credit: Ron Johnson/USA Today Sports