Before the Chicago Bears signed undrafted free agent offensive lineman James Brown, he was accomplish as a left tackle at Troy. Brown was looked at as day two pick because he was simply a project with character concerns; however, he had the potential to be a starting LT.
Brown had a great training camp but a so-so preseason that eventually made the decision easy for the Bears to place him on the practice squad. When Chilo Rachal quit on the team, Brown was elevated to the 53 man roster and saw his first start against the Minnesota Vikings. He has gone on to start two more games after that, but at left guard.
The Bears are faced with a good problem with Brown, and that’s a player that could potentially play two positions on the line at LG and LT. At 6-4 306 pounds, Brown has the prototypical attributes to be a starting NFL LT. He has quick feet and long arms to combat speed rushers and the strength in the upper and lower body to hold up against Bull rushes.
At LG, Brown has displayed the short area quickness and has used his hands well to mirror defensive tackles. He has also displayed the athleticism to get outside on run blocks. In a zone-blocking system, Brown is ideal. He’s not a power blocker, but more of finesse OL that relies on technique and athleticism to complete his assignments.
While the thought of Brown as the team’s future LT sounds intriguing, in my opinion, Brown would be a better player at LG. He doesn’t have the ideal LT size, but at LG has the frame to pack on a little more bulk without losing much athleticism.
It will be interesting to see what the coaches have in store for a talent like Brown on the offensive line moving forward.