One of the nuggets lost in my camp notebook was about rookie Day 3 pick Larry Borom.
Seeing Borom run with the big dawgs at Tuesday’s Family Fest practice was neat. Between my affinity for watching offensive line play, developmental rookies, and underdog stories, I was digging seeing the big man get some work.
Little did I know that this was being done out of necessity. Because in addition to Teven Jenkins (back) and Germain Ifedi (PUP List) being out, Elijah Wilkinson (COVID-19 List) was unavailable. So here I am balancing my appreciation that a young, developmental project is being thrown to the wolves with a little trial by fire with the feeling of oh my goodness the Bears are already down three tackles. Eek. That’s problematic on multiple levels.
And, guess what? We’re about to see more from a player the Bears were apparently bigger fans of than most before the draft:
Matt Nagy said the Bears had second- and third-round grades on Larry Borom, the fifth-round pick now stepping in at left tackle due to injuries.
Said Nagy: "It wasn't big to him. He was not overwhelmed. The film proves it. … He's got an opportunity."
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) August 5, 2021
Don’t get me wrong. There is plenty to like about Borom as a project. He played four different positions at Missouri, taking snaps at everywhere but center. In his final two years at Mizzou, he allowed just two sacks in 736 pass-blocking snaps. Borom has size (6-5, 332) and experience against high-end competition from his time in the SEC. And while there were some nice reps on Tuesday, the entire body of work suggests he needs more work. To be clear, that’s normal. It’s just that I’m wary of putting Andy Dalton or Justin Fields back there with a work-in-progress at left tackle.
Ugh. I really wish the Bears would’ve just brought in Morgan Moses, put him at right tackle, and call it a day.
It’s early, to be sure. But it’s never too early to worry about a position group responsible for protecting the franchise’s most important asset. And until Chicago’s tackles get healthy, I’ll need to work extra hard to not worry myself to pieces. Because if anything happens to Fields (or even Dalton) because of this front office’s continued neglect of offensive tackles, so help me Sweetness…