CBS Sports believes there’s a “sleeper rookie” who could play a key role for the Chicago Bears in 2022.
Chris Trapasso, an NFL draft analyst for CBS Sports, suggested this week that Bears fifth-round pick Braxton Jones, an offensive tackle out of Southern Utah, could have a shot at starting for Chicago as a rookie.
Jones and Larry Borom will duke it out for one of the starting tackle gigs in 2021, and what Borom has in experience, Jones has in flat-out athletic prowess. He’s long, powerful and extremely well-balanced in pass pro and when climbing to the second level on run plays.
Based on his 2021 film at Southern Utah and what he demonstrated against high-caliber rushers at the Senior Bowl, I believe Jones can be the Bears’ franchise left tackle. He’s that impressive athletically and with his technique.
Trapasso’s suggestion that Jones could be the Bears’ franchise starting left tackle should be extremely encouraging for fans.
Hitting on a player on day three of the draft is somewhat rare. If Chicago found a franchise offensive tackle in the fifth round, then it bodes well for the future of the franchise under general manager Ryan Poles.
As for Jones, the reason he fell to the fifth round wasn’t because of a lack of upside. The former Southern Utah standout has great size, length, and athleticism — the things you can’t teach.
Jones’ biggest issue is a lack of proper technique, which can be fixed with proper coaching (that’s where Bears offensive line coach Chris Morgan comes into play).
It sounds like Chicago might have found a hidden gem in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Featured image via David Banks-USA TODAY Sports