Larry Borom came across as a confident young man when the media first spoke to him back in the spring. Despite being a 5th round pick, there was a strong hint of cockiness hidden beneath his mostly humble exterior. When asked about his strengths as a player? Borom didn’t even blink, stating he can “pass protect with the best of them.” Considering he didn’t allow a sack his final year at Missouri, it’s easy to understand his feelings.
Still, this is the NFL. It has a way of setting young players straight in a hurry. Borom found that out when he drew Pro Bowlers Nick Bosa and T.J. Watt as his blocking assignments for his first two starts. It would’ve been so easy to feel overwhelmed by such a situation. Yet the rookie handled his business well, allowing just one sack and two pressures combined in those two games. When asked about the daunting task, Borom didn’t sound overly impressed by either performer.
Two key reasons. The first was that he had to face Khalil Mack in practice most of the summer. That was an excellent way to prepare him for what he’d see in the NFL. The other is a simple case of reality. Bosa and Watt might be good, but they’re still just football players like him. Nothing more, nothing less. At the end of the day, he doesn’t have to beat them. They have to beat him. It was quite an answer on Bears All Access with Jeff Joniak and Tom Thayer.
This is the sort of attitude that seems to have been lacking from the Bears’ offensive line. That swagger and unshakeable belief that you’re a bad man and nobody is going to stop you from doing your job. If he can not get steamrolled by guys like Watt and Bosa in his first two starts? He might be just fine.
Larry Borom changes the outlook of the Bears’ future
There is no question Justin Fields is the guy moving forward in Chicago. The goal ahead is obvious. Build around the young quarterback as much as possible. Most would’ve argued the offensive line should be the focus. However, it looks like GM Ryan Pace might’ve pulled off something rare. Finding not one but two tackles in the same draft that are capable of being starters.
Already people have seen what Larry Borom can do. He held his own against two of the best despite minimal experience. It stands to reason he should only get better. This doesn’t even factor in Teven Jenkins. He was actually the higher of the two picks last April, going in the 2nd round. His talent coming out of Oklahoma State was unquestioned. Many felt he would’ve gone in the 1st if not for lingering concerns about his back.
If he can return healthy and look like that player he was last year?
Then the Bears’ offensive line could be set up for big things in the near future. It would also help Pace erase the stigma that he isn’t any good at drafting offensive linemen. These final eight games are important for Borom. He must continue to build on his success, refining techniques and erasing mistakes. With enough time, there is no reason to think he can’t be a pillar up front for years to come.