By not fully investing in the offensive line in front of Mitchell Trubisky, Ryan Pace fumbled the bag in 2017. And then, by not successfully attacking the position group at various points over Trubisky’s first four years, he handcuffed Chicago’s offense. But perhaps Pace has learned his lesson — at least, that’s what I’m choosing to believe after two of his first three picks brought back offensive linemen.
So let’s take some time to get to know the second of those two: fifth-round pick, Larry Borom, who figures to find a home in the trenches sooner or later.
THE PICK (ROUND 5, PICK 151)
• Name: Larry Borom (Age: 22)
• College: Missouri
• Position: Offensive tackle
• Measurements: 6-5, 322 pounds, 33 1/8-inch arms, 10 3/8-inch arms
STATS TO KNOW
As we discussed when profiling Jenkins, unearthing worthwhile stats for offensive linemen makes finding a needle in a haystack look easy. With that being said, there’s some worthwhile data on Borom:
• Played four different positions at Mizzou: right tackle (1,058 snaps), left tackle (142), left guard (132), right guard (67)
• Allowed just two sacks in 736 pass-blocking snaps in 2019-20
• Position ranking: 19th (ESPN), 21st (Pro Football Focus), 34th (The Draft Network), 31st (Pro Football Network)
THREE STRENGTHS (FROM NFL.COM’s DRAFT PROFILE)
• “Impressive redirect power to press and collapse edge rusher.” … This is the type of thing I like reading about an offensive line prospect.
• “Big body is hard to maneuver around..” … Three were too many times in recent years when it was too easy for defensive players to get around blockers. Perhaps being an extra-large human will help matters here.
• “Play experience at both tackle spots and at guard.” … As was the case with Cody Whitehair and James Daniels when they were picked in their respective draft classes, Borom has playing experience at multiple positions along the line. Versatility is valued by Chicago’s decision-makers.
THREE WEAKNESSES (FROM NFL.COM’S DRAFT PROFILE)
• “More mauler than controlled blocker.” … I can see where this would be a perceived weakness, but I’m a sucker for offensive linemen who are maulers.
• “Too stiff-legged when blocking on the move.” … OL Coach Juan Castillo has his work cut out for him.
• “Lumbering lateral movement prohibits cut-off blocks.” … It’s a description like this which makes me think Borom is designed for a guard spot.
NFL.COM COMPARISON: N/A
WHERE BOROM FITS
Borom’s development this spring and summer will determine his ultimate path. As of now, I can envision him traveling in one of several directions.
Firstly, the best-case scenario might be Borom exploding out of the gates and playing his way into a starting tackle position. That would potentially move fellow rookie Teven Jenkins to left tackle. And that would put Charles Leno Jr. as the odd-man out. For what it’s worth, I think that’s the least-likely scenario. However, it’s one I must acknowledge exists. Secondly, there is a path for Borom to start at right guard. He will need to develop quickly and win a camp battle between Alex Bars and Germain Ifedi for that to play out. But maybe the Bears will have a true open competition. The third, and what I think is most likely, is Borom playing 2021 as a rotational extra lineman.
Should Chicago want to take advantage of having a true mauler with experience at four different spots on the line, the Bears could use Borom as a goal-line or heavy package. It would be the best of both worlds, balancing the desire to maximize development while also giving a rookie some playing reps.
APPROVAL FROM A FUTURE TEAMMATE:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 1, 2021
THEY SAID IT:
New Bears OT Larry Borom said he’s seen scouting reports about him playing guard in the NFL, but, "I still like playing tackle. … I still feel like I can dominate at tackle.”
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) May 1, 2021