People wondered if the next string of practices would see the Chicago Bears return their starting lineup to where it was back in May. That meant Larry Borom at left tackle and Teven Jenkins at right tackle. It was a considerable shock when Jenkins got demoted to the second-team offense while Borom shifted to right tackle and rookie Braxton Jones plugged the left side. It was a considerably bigger shock when veteran minicamps began and the alignment had not changed.
Jones was still settled in at the left tackle spot. People choose to view this in a negative light due to the Jenkins issue. That is easy to understand. He’s a former 2nd round pick. That said, it’s hard not to feel somewhat excited about the fact a 5th round rookie has looked good enough in practice to convince his coaches that he might be good enough to deserve a shot with the starting offense.
Rookie Braxton Jones still practicing with the first team at LT, with Larry Borom at RT, backed up by Teven Jenkins. Eberflus and the staff still in the evaluation mode leading into training camp. @WBBMNewsradio
— Jeff Joniak (@JeffJoniak) June 14, 2022
Braxton Jones likely isn’t going anywhere.
Part of that is due to his play on the field as well as the situation with Jenkins. Whatever is happening with the former 2nd rounder isn’t what the coaches want to see. So until he picks his game up, the Bears have an obligation to play the best possible five blockers they can. If Borom is outplaying Jenkins at right tackle, so be it. That means Jones only has to beat out veteran Julie’n Davenport on the left side, and that shouldn’t be difficult.
The criticisms of him were typical. Many felt Braxton Jones was a great physical talent but hadn’t proven himself against top competition. He’d spent his college career at Southern Utah. It was believed he would need time to adjust to the NFL level. Yet after a strong showing at the Senior Bowl, some wondered if he was more ready than people thought. That was a big reason the Bears grew interested in him.
Mere months later, he is already in place as their starting left tackle. That is not the timetable most people had in their heads. Perhaps things change in training camp. Defensive ends may expose him in pads. If they don’t, the Bears could do something exceedingly rare by starting a rookie Day 3 pick on the blind side of their quarterback.