It’s easy to get distracted by the Chicago Bears wide receiver depth chart. The 2022 season is all about the development of quarterback Justin Fields, and with the lack of a true WR1 on the roster, it makes sense that the Bears’ roster has been criticized.
But good pass protection is just as important as the wide receivers Fields will target. It’s actually more important. There’s no value in having a game-changing wide receiver if Fields is running for his life. And good pass protection begins at offensive tackle.
The Bears will field two second-year players at offensive tackle in 2022. Last year’s second-round pick, Teven Jenkins, will start on the right side while 2021’s fifth-rounder, Larry Borom, will man the left side. It’s a risky strategy for a team with so much invested in its young quarterback, but it’s one that general manager Ryan Poles seems prepared to begin the season with.
Neither Jenkins nor Borom did enough in their rookie seasons to garner league-wide respect. Neither is considered one of the NFL’s up-and-coming talents; at least, not yet. In Pro Football Focus’ recent breakdown of the top 32 offensive tackles in the NFL, neither Jenkins nor Borom made the cut. Other second-year players like Los Angeles Chargers star, Rashawn Slater, and Detroit Lions stud, Penei Sewell, both ranked in the top 20 (Slater ranked No. 9; Sewell ranked No. 19).