Bears rookie offensive lineman Larry Borom (75) played at 352 pounds last year at Missouri but will play at 332 in 2021. “I feel like a totally different player [at the lighter weight],” he said. | David Banks/AP Photos
The Bears’ fifth-round draft pick from Missouri will get a chance to compete with Germain Ifedi for the starting RT job. “[Borom] is a better athlete than Germain,” line coach Juan Castillo said.
Bears rookie offensive tackle Larry Borom is big, strong, athletic — and confident.
“I feel like I can pass protect with the best of them,” the fifth-round draft pick from Missouri said Saturday when asked about his strengths. “And I’m a big body that can run off the ball. One thing I’m gonna need to work on is smaller, little technique things regarding some things in the run game — maybe footwork here and there; hand placement. But other than that, I feel I can pass block with the best of them.”
With second-round pick Teven Jenkins expected to start at left tackle, it would be an oddity for the Bears to have two rookies at offensive tackle in 2021. But Borom will get a chance to compete with incumbent Germain Ifedi for that spot. You never know.
“The big kid from Missouri is a big athlete, powerful, you’re going to really love him,” Bears offensive line coach Juan Castillo said. “I know Germain’s going to be mad at me, but [Borom] is a better athlete than Germain. He’s a powerful guy. He’s a big man that’s athletic. We’re excited. We’re going to put him over there behind Germain and let him compete with Germain.”
Borom isn’t quite as big as he used to be. He played at 352 pounds at Missouri, but was advised to lose weight in preparation for the draft — and dropped to 322 pounds. Now the Bears want to beef him up a bit.
“He got skinny — wanted to make those swimsuit issues,” Castillo said. “He got down to . But that’s not what he needs to play at. He’s going to get back up to around , so that’s still 20 pounds lighter than he was before.”
Borom still feels the weight loss will make him a better player in the NFL.
“It was a lot of hard work,” he said. “I put my head down this offseason and really knew what my biggest issue was. I feel really good. I feel light on my feet. I feel like a totally different player.”
Coach Matt Nagy is planning on coaching in person Sunday after watching the first two days of rookie mini-camp remotely because he’s a high-risk close contact for a family member who tested positive for the coronavirus. He needs one more negative test Sunday morning to be cleared for practice.
Nagy, maybe more than most coaches, thrives on the personal interactions with his players.
“It’s a lot different when you’re not there in person,” Nagy said. “You can still see the video. You can still kind of get a feel of what the tempo’s like. And you can hear the play calls. But it is different than other years of being able to have those one-on-one conversations with guys as they’re stretching or running on the field.”
The Bears conclude their three-day rookie mini-camp Sunday with practice at Halas Hall. The next phase of the offseason program begins Monday — the first indication of how many veterans will be skipping the voluntary on-field workouts. The Bears’ first OTA practice is May 25.