Bears Draft Target: Broderick Jones
Mark Rebilas - USA Today Sports

Bears Draft Target: Broderick Jones

by - Senior Writer -

Just when you think the Bears are content with keeping the No. 9 overall pick, given their recent scouting visits, the rumor line heats up again. This time it comes with the Bears pondering the thought of trading away the No. 9 pick to move further down in the first round.

For now, this team still holds a top-10 pick which is a rare feat for this franchise. What is even harder to fathom is that the Bears haven't had a ton of success with top 10 picks, as Roquan Smith may be the one that is worth noting. For whatever reason, the Bears scouting department does their homework, but has had difficulty finding the right fit out of a top 10 spot.

Hopefully, for their sake, things change this season as Chicago has a chance to do something very special. For the sake of this column, let's assume the Bears keep the No. 9 pick. What direction do they target? Many people think defense is an option which it could be, but I feel offensive line would be their primary focus at this spot.

Paris Johnson and Peter Skoronski are the premier offensive linemen in this class, but don't overlook Broderick Jones, who could be an option for Chicago at No. 9. The former University of Georgia star OT is vastly overlooked when you talk about the best prospects in this class and may even have a higher upside than Johnson. Both can become elite blockers in both the run and the pass, but Johnson has more experience than Jones, which is why he is graded out higher.

After this season concluded with Georgia winning another national title, Jones now has 19 career starts under his belt, less than two full seasons. The 6-5 314 pound Jones is smaller than some of the other tackles in this class, but with the right coaching at the NFL could develop into a premier left or right tackle. Right tackle is a more significant need for the Bears right now, so look for whoever they draft on the offensive line to be able to play the RT position.

Although Jones has had some technical issues and isn't the most fluid mover on the line, he is a finisher and will hold his block until that final whistle blows. This man doesn't quit, but that play style could result in penalties at the next level if he isn't careful. Either way, his play style is what Matt Eberflus and Ryan Poles are looking for, so it makes sense should he be a candidate for them.

Addressing the offensive line has been an issue for the Bears for several years, and it is just mystifying how much of a struggle it has been. Whether it is coaching or the personnel they bring in to play the scheme, nothing has worked, and the Bears have been called out for it. Poles knows this, and so does the coaching staff, which is why they will focus on this area for the vast majority of the early rounds and the remaining part of free agency.

You saw the Bears address the line the past two seasons in the NFL draft, and although the line has improved, it still needs improvement. That is why they need to keep adding to it. If Justin Fields is the QB of the future, and from all accounts, it is starting to feel like he is, then the Bears need to do whatever they can to protect him.

Jones is someone who can do that and someone that has the versatility to play both tackle positions. These are the moves that Poles needs to focus on, and should he land Jones or one of the other two players at No. 9, consider the first round a win for the Bears.

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