Well over half of the Chicago Bears fans who voted in our confidence poll this week believe the franchise is on the right path, and while I'm not with them in that assessment, I am pretty sure Braxton Jones has left the tackle spot locked down.
In the other half of our Reacts survey, 78% of our fans think Jones should be considered a building block for the franchise.
Jones continuing to ascend as a player will allow General Manager Ryan Poles to turn his attention elsewhere, and it also means he should feel comfortable about four-fifths of his offensive line.
Teven Jenkins started the season on injured reserve, but he's been solid since his return at both guard spots. He's only going to get better the more he locks on to the left guard position, and if he finishes strong, I could see them talking contract extension this offseason.
Rookie right tackle Darnell Wright has lived up to the hype of being the tenth overall pick. His willingness to work through a shoulder injury and block one-armed was admirable. He still may hit the "rookie wall," but he's shown to be the total package.
Nate Davis has had a difficult first year in Chicago. Early on, he was away from the team, dealing with his mother's illness and her ultimate passing. He returned only to suffer a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for four games, but when he's been in the lineup, he's shown why Poles inked him to a three-year deal.
At center, Lucas Patrick has been better than Cody Whitehair, but an upgrade is needed in 2024.
But back to Jones and the left tackle position.
There are a couple of top left tackle prospects that will go early in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, but Jones' play will allow Poles to go in a different direction.
He had a penalty-filled start to his season, but since coming back from his neck injury, he's only been flagged twice and none in the last three games. His pass blocking has improved from his rookie season, and he's been effective in the running game as well.
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