According to reports out of Chicago Bears voluntary minicamp, the team is experimenting at the tackle position. As fans might recall, Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom played left and right tackle, respectively, last season. However, according to early reports from camp, the team is flipping the two at the tackle positions.
The experiment makes a lot of sense. In college, Jenkins was a dominant right tackle and a mauler in the run game. Typically, left tackles are asked to be more athletic and finesse players because of the pass-blocking necessity on a quarterback’s backside. Although Jenkins is athletic, he’s better suited to play his natural position. When originally drafted, many speculated that Jenkins would play right tackle with Charles Leno Jr. at left tackle. However, following the draft, Leno was cut and Jenkins was named the air apparent on the left side. Now, Jenkins can assume his natural position going forward.
As for Borom, he moved around throughout college. He played numerous positions at Mizzou and proved he has the versatility to move around. Borom showed last season that he can cut weight after losing 45 pounds prior to his rookie season. If he can trim up and maintain the talent he showed last season, he might be just fine at left tackle for the Bears.
Going forward, this swap at the tackle spots allows for both players to use the entire offseason learning their position in the new scheme. In addition, Jenkins may be more at home on the right side and make a larger impact at said spot. Also, Borom has an excellent opportunity to showcase his talent at left tackle and perhaps be labeled as a steal in last year’s draft.
However, what becomes fascinating is the use of both players at tackle. There was some speculation that Borom might kick inside to guard, especially after the departure of James Daniels. With a glaring hole at guard, and Borom now playing left tackle, that immediately becomes a position of need in the draft. The Bears confirmed earlier this season that Lucas Patrick will play center. That leaves a hole at one guard spot with Cody Whitehair assuming the other. If this is the plan, then the Bears’ draft plan becomes that much more interesting.
Perhaps moving Jenkins back to his natural position will benefit him. Perhaps Borom is the gem fans hope he can be and assumes the left tackle spot. Who knows? However, the approaching NFL Draft will potentially help answer some questions about the team’s offensive line this season.
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