Chicago Bears Braxton Jones rookie season advanced stats review

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Chicago Bears appear to have firmly committed to Braxton Jones as their starter at left tackle it is worth digging deeper into his rookie season to just how productive he may be. With the help of PFF, we will dive into some advanced metrics on Braxton Jones and see how his rookie season looked with this context added.

Braxton Jones rookie season advanced stats review

Penalties per snap

Braxton Jones committed nine penalties as a rookie. On a per-snap basis, he is giving up a penalty on 1.16% of his offensive snaps. That would put him 64th out of 75 qualified tackles. To be fair to Jones some of the few names below him include Tyler Smith, Bernhard Raimann, and Ikem Ekwonu, so he is not alone as the only rookie struggling. Still, rookie Zach Tom did not allow a penalty at all, and Jamaree Salyer had a 0.29% rate as a rookie. Abraham Lucas was at 0.67% as well, so while he was not one of the worst rookies in this area, he certainly was not one of the best.

Sacks per snap

Braxton Jones allowed seven sacks as a rookie. He was allowing a sack on 1.29% of his pass protection snaps. This had him at 64th again, out of 75. It is fair to note that once again rookies were around him. Abraham Lucas was at 1.47% last season, Evan Neal was at 1.5%, and Bernhard Raimann was at 1.64. Those teams are still starting those players in the upcoming season. On the flip side, Zach Tom was at 0.33%, Jamaree Salyer was at 0.72%, and Tyler Smith was at 0.85%.

Pressures per snap

Braxton Jones allowed 29 pressures last season. which is a 7.4% rate. That puts him 65th overall. The only rookie behind him was Evan Neal at 9.7%. Charles Cross at 6.7%, Jamaree Salyer at 6.9%, and Nicholas Petit-Frier being at 6.9% were all close to Braxton Jones, but he was a bit lower.

Run Blocking Grade

Braxton Jones ranked 10th in run blocking grade overall. That has him between names such as Andrew Thomas, Jordan Mailata, and Kolton Miller. These are big time names and Jones being with them as a rookie is very promising. Of rookies, he was the best by a decent bit. His grade was 79.4, and the next closest was 75.2, which was Tyler Smith. Evan Neal was at 48.1

Interestingly enough, Jones had a 65.4 grade, which was 31st when running zone, while his 87.4 grade as a gap blocker was the best in the NFL last season. It is interesting to note because Jones ranked 18th in zone snaps, but 37th in gap snaps. The Bears ran gap plays just 36.5% of the time, but Jones was tremendous in that area. Will the Chicago Bears end up playing more gap next season?

Overall review of Braxton Jones rookie season with the Chicago Bears

Overall, there is reason to be concerned as a pass protector. He was never one of the worst rookies, and if you throw away draft capital, fans should have more faith in Braxton Jones than Evan Neal. Beyond that, almost all of the other rookies who had to play as much as he did got a second year, so he does deserve that.

While we need to see growth in pass protection in year two, the reason the Chicago Bears are so set on keeping him in the starting lineup is his run blocking. He is above average no matter what the scheme is, but the team could get better on the ground if they lean to more gap. It is worth noting that Darnell Wright was better as a gap blocker than in zone as well.

Next. 5 questions that need answered . dark

That type of upside as a run blocker cannot be benched just because he struggled a bit in pass protection. However, these are now the key areas to watch for next season.