Chicago Bears Linked to Top Offensive Lineman in NFL Draft

Houston OL Josh Jones NFL Draft Chicago Bears

Getty OL Josh Jones of the Houston Cougars will be a coveted offensive lineman in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Fewer teams need to bolster and improve their offensive line more than the Chicago Bears. The Bears entered the 2019 season with an o-line that was ranked in the top 10, and they finished the year ranked 25th. They were a downright disastrous team when it came running the ball, averaging 91.1 yards a game, which ranked 27th in the NFL. Thus, it’s a good thing all signs point to Chicago addressing that specific need in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft.

Per draft analyst Justin Melo, the Bears have met twice with Houston Cougars tackle Josh Jones, appearing to be quite interested in the offensive tackle. Jones had a visit with the Bears prior to the coronavirus pandemic, and he met with the team again via FaceTime more recently.

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The trouble with Jones is he very likely may not be available when it’s the Bears turn to pick at No. 43 and No. 50 in the second round. If he is, he’s about as certain a pick the Bears would have in this year’s draft.

Josh Jones Could Be a Franchise O-Lineman in the NFL

If the Bears manage to snag Jones, he will likely be groomed to replace Bobby Massie on the offensive line. The Bears will start Massie in 2020, but in 2021, he carries a dead cap hit of $2.6 million compared to this year’s dead cap hit of $8.3 million, so Chicago will be looking for someone who can come in and perhaps elevate the tackle position.

Whomever the Bears draft to groom, he will join James Daniels, Alex Bars, Rashaad Coward and Germain Ifedi, who are all under 26 years old, on a youthful Bears’ o-line. Chicago’s new offensive coordinator Juan Castillo will have multiple opportunities to work with lots of raw talent and potential, and Jones is someone with a high ceiling.

Jones has no red flags injury-wise, nor does he have any off-the-field issues that might raise eyebrows. The primary concern about him is the school he played for. Houston isn’t Ohio State or Clemson, or even Wisconsin, and some have expressed doubt about the quality of competition he has faced in his four seasons with Houston.

But, put simply, the Bears need some bullies on their offensive line, and Jones has serious bully potential.

The Draft Network’s description of Jones shows why he’d be such an ideal fit for the Bears.

“Josh Jones is a high ceiling, low floor offensive tackle prospect who is an OL coach’s dream. With his natural skills, Jones showcases dominant physical flashes on the field and possesses the athletic ability to be a dominant pass blocker and weapon in the run game. But Jones’ skills need significant polish from the ground up — he’s still raw with his pass sets and footwork and can be too reactive in live-action to over-set or over-pursue. Ideally he can be weaned into a starting role in the NFL.”

Former Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and the Denver Broncos are also interested, as are the rivals to the North, the Green Bay Packers, so if the Bears are fortunate enough to still find him on the draft board when they’re up at No. 43, snagging him seems like a no-brainer.

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