One Chicago Bears player is going from needing to be replaced to underrated

Chicago Bears v Washington Redskins
Chicago Bears v Washington Redskins / Rob Carr/GettyImages

The Chicago Bears left tackle has gone from a sleeper to overrated, potentially overrated and he is only entering his third NFL season. It is funny how perception works, and for Braxton Jones, it is currently being underrated. 

When Jones was drafted in the fifth round out of Southern Utah he was hardly known of or discussed. However, with a wide-open starting spot at left tackle, he jumped right into the lineup from day one.

Jones did not miss a snap in his rookie season. However, you could argue the perception of his play changed expectations. Jones did fine in the context of being a fifth-round rookie from a small school. He was not a high-level tackle yet. 

Fans started to think that they had a budding franchise tackle. However, he started in 2023 with issues. Jones had penalty problems to start the season and then got hurt. It completely warped his perception.

Braxton Jones is underrated with the Chicago Bears

However, when Jones came back into the lineup, the run game immediately improved, and the offense found its feet toward the stretch run. Jones finished the season strong and showed solid improvement in pass protection. 

However, when the Bears drafted a tackle in the third round of the 2024 NFL draft, it turned his perception back into a moveable asset. Still, Kiram Amegadjie is a rookie from Yale with limited experience. He is arguably more raw than Jones coming out. 

Amegadjie can push Jones, but Jones is a two-year NFL starter now. The odds are that  Jones will start for at least the next two seasons. Yes, drafting Amegadjie may make it easier to let Jones walk in free agency, but the Bears still trust him to block the blind side for the first two seasons of Caleb Williams's career. 

Bears fans are quick to write Jones off but have to realize that while he is not top-ten or elite, he is above average and hard to replace. That makes him underrated entering the season.