How Two Chicago Bears Are Already Influencing 2023 Plans

The Chicago Bears don’t think about 2023. At least the coaches and players don’t. The team is at 1-1 on Sunday with a chance of 2-1 with a win over the scoreless Houston Texans. However, GM Ryan Poles and his scouts are already formulating their plans for the next off-season. He’s only in year 1 of rebuilding this roster to a roster he hopes can compete for a championship. Next spring will be an important one. The Bears have the most leeway for any NFL team’s salary cap and first-round pick.

When the season started, most people agreed what would be the biggest need on the roster. That was the line of attack. Justin Fields took too many sacks last year and the Bears didn’t do much to fix the problem last season. So it probably came as a shock to learn that the group is the first in the NFL in the top spot in pass block win rate, while also setting the stage for 180 yards rushing last week. Some think the group may not be as terrible as many had predicted.

This is largely due to the emergence of two names: Braxton Jones and Teven Jenkins.

When asked for an example of a time when he had his eyes in the right place, Bitch Jenkins referred to this piece.

“My eyes went straight to Larry (Borom), and that’s where it should be,” Jenkins said. “It must be because he’s counting on me to be there if he gets an inside move.”

— Sean Hammond (@sean_hammond) September 23, 2022

This is a great example of how engineering can help anchor an OT against a bullrush. Braxton Jones remains square and upright, grabs the defender with good hand placement and is able to anchor. Larry Borom opens his hips and bends at the waist and gets pushed back in Justin Fields #Bears

— Chicago Football Connection (@CFCBears) September 20, 2022

Chicago Bears may have building blocks in place.

It’s early in the season, but one can’t help but be impressed by those two. Jones is a 5th round rookie from Southern Utah. He faced Nick Bosa, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary in the first two weeks of his career. Allowing just five pressures in those matches should be considered an encouraging sign for his future. His size and athleticism are already striking. It seems that his technique is also not that bad.

The bigger surprise is Jenkins. Many left him for dead after he was demoted in OTA’s at right suits. The Chicago Bears coaches decided to watch him instead. He flashed enough in the preseason to get the starting nod. Now, having played two games, he has a case for being one of the top ten best-executed blockers in his position in the NFL.

If those two continue to rise over the next few months, the Bears will have two building blocks for their line of attack. That doesn’t apply to Lucas Patrick, who stays in his prime and should fit nicely in the middle. It means the Poles can shift their focus to other positions of emergency when it comes time for conscription.

Wide receiver and defensive gear are at the top of that list.

Jordan Addison in space is a tough assignment for defenders

— Billy M (@BillyM_91) September 18, 2022

Early forecasts have ranked 14 offensive linemen in the top 100 forecast for 2023. Conversely, there are eight wide receivers and 11 defensive tackles. So if the Bears wanted to hold off on drafting more O-line help, they could. Justin Fields needs a precise target in the receiving game. On the other hand, the Bears’ line of defense is woefully underpowered. Imagine getting Jalen Carter from Georgia or Jordan Addison from USC. Both can be direct impact players for this team.

This is why the Bears were eager to play the young boys. They knew there was a possibility that some of them could turn into legit startups. Jenkins and Jones have 15 games left to cement their spots. If they succeed, it will change how everything could develop next April.

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