Braxton Jones has begun to solidify his spot on the offensive line as the start left tackle. Jones “answered the bell” in his first reps in full pads versus Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Quinn.
Braxton Jones rocketed up the depth chart in mini-camps and OTAs and into the first team spot at the left tackle position heading into training camp. At the start of camp he started out with the ones, and then received some competition from veteran Riley Reiff who was brought into challenge the rookie. As of right now, three days into training camp Jones has held off that competition and is the very early leader to be the starter at left tackle.
Luke Getsy emphasized as much yesterday during his meeting with reporters,
“I think Braxton was a guy that is obviously a super athletic kid that we were excited about after spring ball,” offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said Friday. “Then you get into the pads and there was zero intimidation. Going against Robert Quinn your very first one-on-one pass rush, right? It’s an intimidating thing. He stepped up and did a great job. He’s answered the bell. He’s done a really nice job us.”
Braxton Jones has taken every single rep at left tackle with the first team offensive line in the three padded practices. He has more than held his own against Robert Quinn and Al-Quadin Muhammad, in pads.
Fields to Pringle #Bears pic.twitter.com/L8SZlTe0JJ
— John Herff (@JohnHerff_NFL) August 5, 2022
David Montgomery doing his thing. pic.twitter.com/Yvnu1chqX9
— The Tape Never Lies Network (@TTNLNetwork) August 5, 2022
Braxton Jones holding his own and becoming the start offensive tackle would be the most important development of Ryan Poles’ first draft class. If he nails down the starting job and does good in that role, and sharpens his skills against Quinn, then the Bears begin to put themselves in a better position to let Justin Fields produce.
Even with Teven Jenkins returning to practice today, Braxton Jones has likely put himself far out ahead of anyone else to be the starter at LT. But the next thought would be, to keep Jones at LT, Borom at RT and slide Jenkins into the competition at right guard. Jenkins isn’t as athletic, but being an athlete isn’t as important at the guard position. Jenkins’ draft status also no longer matters, so long as he comes in and competes and helps the team out. Jenkins has shown more than enough of a nasty streak to be a very good offensive guard.
Add in so many of the best offensive guards in the NFL today are former offensive tackles from college who slide inside, and it makes even more sense to have Jenkins compete at guard. Braxton Jones has the requisite long arms to be a good offense tackle, while Jenkins has shorter arms and can operate at a more comfortable level utilizing his power to take on the defensive tackles on the inside.
Braxton Jones is a tailor made athletic left tackle with long arms and because of those attributes and the fact that he “answered the bell” puts him squarely into a spot to be the starting LT for the next decade.
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