The Chicago Bears‘ offensive line was bad last season. Really bad at times. That tends to happen when you allow 58 sacks. GM Ryan Poles faced a difficult task trying to rebuild it. Most experts weren’t impressed with his results following the spring. His only notable additions were center Lucas Patrick in free agency, then four picks in the draft. However, it appears the stance has softened since the Bears made two late additions to the mix.
In a 24-hour span, the team signed veteran tackle Riley Reiff and guard Michael Schofield. Reiff spent last season at right tackle for the eventual AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals. Schofield was the starting right guard for the Los Angeles Chargers. Both have extensive experience and have quality track records. It appears ESPN analytics expert Seth Walder applauded their additions. He now has high projections for the Bears offensive line going into 2022.
“11. Chicago Bears
Projected starters: Riley Reiff, Cody Whitehair, Lucas Patrick, Michael Schofield III, Larry Borom
Predicted pass block rank: No. 13
Predicted run block rank: No. 11
This is a pretty stunning rank for the Bears’ offensive line, but they have a few things going for them. Reiff and Schofield — late additions just before training camp — help bolster the line. Borom, a fifth-round pick a year ago, posted a very solid 90% PBWR last season in 10 games, 21st among tackles. And Patrick should be an asset in the ground game after ranking third in RBWR among centers last season with the Packers.”
There are even early signs of it in training camp. While pass protection has been spotty at times, the run blocking has consistently been positive. Head coach Matt Eberflus singled it out during his latest press conference. Running the ball is a core part of Luke Getsy’s new system. When it works, everything else functions at a high level. That should help Justin Fields in pass protection since he won’t have to throw out of necessity.
The interesting twist in Walder’s projections is Borom at right tackle. Based on recent alignments, it looks like rookie Braxton Jones is the emerging favorite at left tackle. That caused the Chicago Bears to move Reiff over to the right side. Things remain fluid, but it feels like that could be the starting alignment the team goes with. If Walder proves correct and the line overachieves, Poles will deserve all sorts of credit for such a rapid turnaround.
I think history is going to show that Ryan Poles will be one the greatest GM’s in Bears History, I have loved everything he has done in rebuilding this mess that was left behind. Reluctant to say it, but George McCaskey finally got it right.
I think the important thing about this year’s offensive line is going to be the depth of talent. The two veterans they just signed will allow that.
There is a lot of unproven young talent fighting to make this roster. T Jenkins who is supposedly one of the most talented young linemen in the league, Borom who many feel is a long-term starter in this league, Doug Cramer who was expected to be drafted, and Braxton Jones who appears to be set as the starting LT at this stage of the game. I believe the OL will be better and prove to be sound enough to keep Fields upright in 2022, not to mention that the new scheme will aid them tremondously.
This is good to read. Is it reality, however? If it is, then why is it so surprising? I been hearing only doom and gloom about the line, and how the Def is having a field day every practice? Good to hear yesterday Jenkins came back. Maybe he can rebound.
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Analytics Expert Drops Shocking Chicago Bears O-Line Projection – Sports Mockery