Chicago Bears Draft: Charles Leno not safe after Larry Borom pick

Chicago Bears (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

In the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears selected Missouri starting tackle Larry Borom with pick number 151.

This was a pick not everyone saw coming. If you were to ask most fans going into today, they would have told you the Bears should prioritize cornerback and wide receiver. Yet, general manager Ryan Pace continued to put emphasis on the offensive line.

Selecting Borom tells you a couple of things. First of all, Pace is all-in on Justin Fields. Whether he admits it or not, Fields will end up being the starter this season and the Bears are ready to do whatever they can to protect him. The Bears are going to keep him clean, period. That’s what this draft has become about.

Secondly, in attempting to keep Fields healthy and upright, the Bears are sending a very clear message to current starting tackle Charles Leno.

The Chicago Bears just let Charles Leno know that he is not safe.

Leno, originally a seventh rounder back in 2014, has seen his quality play diminish just a little bit since making a Pro Bowl back during the 2018 season. The team let go of Bobby Massie this offseason, declining his option, and now Leno may be in for some competition.

Already, the Bears moved up to take Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins, who will come in and start immediately. The only question is, whether or not Leno will stay at left tackle or move over to the right side.

Pace seemed non-committal on Jenkins’ position on Friday night, essentially saying that they’ll have to figure out which side he’ll fit best. That statement alone should sound the alarm in Leno’s head — he’s far from safe.

Borom is a big, strong tackle with a ton of power. He can move bodies with ease. The issue with why he’s a later pick is due to his lack of mobility. He could use some improvement with his footwork and hand placement, but Borom is simply a tank. He’s a heck of a football player, regardless of what scouts say he needs to improve.

Anytime you can make a list like the one above, you are going to be just fine in the NFL regardless of where you’re drafted. Borom rarely gives up a sack, as you can see. Borom’s attitude mirrors that of Jenkins, both of whom will do whatever they can to keep their quarterback clean.

Back to Leno, who should feel uncomfortable at the very least. The biggest reason why he could be in trouble of losing his starting job? The Bears’ selection of Borom was only their third pick of the draft — out of 151 selections. They have now invested two very valuable picks in offensive tackles, and now head to the later rounds for some dart throws.

Related Story. Bears: 3 things to know about Teven Jenkins. light

Leno’s job is in jeopardy, which is a good thing. He’s been a liability for a while now, and the Bears are in the business of keeping a clean pocket for their shiny new franchise quarterback. Borom’s arrival only furthers that notion.