Braxton Jones has risen up the board since draft day and now finds himself as a starter for week one
The Chicago Bears offensive line was a big storyline during training camp and the pre-season. Who would be the five protecting Justin Fields? Free agent signing Lucas Patrick got injured, Teven Jenkins has been in and out, and there have been a lot of moving pieces. Recently claimed Alex Leatherwood could compete for a spot. With so much to figure out, it’s good the Bears have penciled in their starter at left tackle. It’s not who we would have thought as rookie fifth rounder Braxton Jones out of Southern Utah earned the nod.
Jones steadily made a name for himself through training camp with his solid work ethic and keen football knowledge. The 6’5, 310 pound lineman is a strong athlete who has been going up against the likes of Robert Quinn in camp. This has provided him with priceless growth opportunities. Bears GM Ryan Poles has seen firsthand the development of the 168th overall pick in the draft.
“He continues to kind of check the boxes. You go from OTAs and [you’re] like, ‘man, the guy looks pretty good.’ All right, but we’ve got to go to training camp, we’ve got to put pads on. We put pads on and he still does pretty good. All right, let’s see when the lights go on and we go to preseason, is he going to do it then? Because the longer you do this, and you’ve all seen, you see these spikes and then [wonder], ‘where did he go?’
“[But] he just continues to climb and get better and better and better. And then now that next phase is Week 1, he’s going to see a ‘big dog.”
Poles is not the only one praising Jones early in his career. Bleacher Report dropped a list of 10 rookies who already look like draft day steals and Jones made the list.
“Braxton Jones is going to be a good player,” left guard Cody Whitehair told reporters. “The way he studies. The way he understands stuff. He’s very athletic. He’s got great length. He uses his hands well. I really like where Braxton’s at.”
“One of the things with Braxton is he gets to go against Robert Quinn every day,” offensive line coach Chris Morgan noted. “He gets to go against our defensive ends every day. So that work he’s getting is priceless.”
The grind never stops for Braxton Jones and his relentlessness has earned him an NFL starting job.
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