When Ryan Pace finished his project, he practically met with standing ovations in the media.
Sports Illustrated, NFL.com, Pro Football Focus, Sporting News, USA Today, Ringer analysts and Pro Football Network have all awarded the Bears A- or higher for their caps.
The key was obviously Justin Fields and the next best choice to get everyone’s attention was Teven Jenkins. It would be an immediate starting tackle.
Last year, the Bears walked away with an immediate starter and two more who were mid-season regulars at Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet.
This year’s draft appears to be able to follow the same pattern. Since Fields won’t start on day one, he could be one of those to fill a mid-season spot.
Of their last five picks, there are up to three that could contribute to part-time roles, as Khalil Herbert and Dazz Newsome could potentially earn special team jobs back. And Thomas Graham Jr. could find a way to be competitive at the cornerback position with Duke Shelley, who didn’t stand out last year when he got the chance to replace Buster Skrine.
However, there is another player who could be the third starter in the draft class and that is tackle Larry Borom.
Borom was almost seen as a future draft or throw-in after the team drafted Fields and Jenkins, but there’s every reason to believe he can compete with Germain Ifedi and Elijah Wilkinson to start the right tackle.
Ifedi and Wilkinson could have a lot of experience with Borom entering training camp, but the ex-Missouri player is sure to be sure. He knows what he is doing.
“My strength is that I feel like I can pass protecting with the best of them,” Borom said. “And I’m a big body that can run off the ball. And one thing I’m going to have to work on is just little technical things about some things in the running game, maybe footwork here and there, the hand placement, but other than that I feel like I can get past the block with the best of them. ”
It really doesn’t follow the trend of recent players the Bears have brought into this position.
In fact, Borom last year was downright dominant as a pass blocker.
Pro Football Focus analyzed the film of all the college pass blockers and Borom was the only tackle in the country, left side or right side, that didn’t allow a single squeeze from the quarterback. A pair of 2022 draft-eligible Dylan Parham of Memphis (0.7% pressure) and Myron Cunningham of Arkansas (1.2%) finished second and third and Carolina Panthers third-round pick Brady Christensen of BYU (1.3%) was fourth.
“The big kid from Missouri is a great, powerful athlete,” Bears coach Juan Castillo said. “You are going to really like it.
“I know Germain is going to get mad at me, but (Borom) is a better athlete than Germain.”
Considering Borom has “slimmed down” to 322 pounds, that’s probably not what many expected of him when they saw his size on a list. He said he will gain some weight before the season.
Linemen weighing between 320 and 330 pounds are normally considered race blockers, and straight tackles in particular are maulers of this size. Being strong with the pass blocking technique at this height, in this position is rare.
This is apparently not a mistake.
“G is going to get mad at me, but (Borom is) a powerful guy,” Castillo said. “He played 352 pounds. He’s not as long as Germain. He played 352. Now he’s gotten skinny, wanted to do those swimsuit issues, he’s come down to (322). is not what he has to play, he is going to go up to (332).
“So it’s still 20 pounds lighter than before. But he’s a great man who’s athletic, who played a good competition. We’re excited. We’re going to put him there behind Germain and let him compete with him. Germain. “
Given that Ifedi’s contract is only for a year at $ 5 million, the long-term outlook for Borom looks solid.
Considering Borom’s past as a surprisingly effective pass blocker for a man his size, and how his size should help the team block the run, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him become the Bears’ third rookie starter to at some point.
This could make the 2021 class look a lot like the success of the 2020 draft class.
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