Rookies in Focus: Jordan Mills
Our offseason rookie breakdown started with the first round edge rushers and now it’s time to take a look at the other side of the line. Offensive tackles came off the board at a furious rate, with the 2013 draft perhaps as unique as any in recent history.
Here’s a look at the first round offensive tackles, with a couple other mid-round starters and even an undrafted free agent mixed in. This is by no means a definitive draft grade on any of these players, just a one-year look at their role and production, and perhaps a look forward to how they might improve.
Round 5, No. 163: Jordan Mills, Chicago Bears
Role: 16 starts at RT
The Bears’ right side consisted of two rookies as Mills paired with first round guard Kyle Long. It was a rough first season for Mills who gave up more pressures than any other offensive tackle in the league. He wasn’t much better in the running game, perhaps not surprising for a fifth round pick.
Pass Block Snaps: 640
Total Pressures: 78
Pass Blocking Efficiency: 90.2
Despite surrendering only three sacks, Mills gave up far too much pressure off the edge. While the Bears system often encourages the offensive tackle to ride his the defender deep past the pocket, Mills simply lost control of his man far too often. We need not look far to see better displays of pass protection in a similar system, whether looking at LT Jermon Bushrod on the other side or one of our better graded right tackles in Zach Strief in New Orleans. Mills finished last among all tackles with his -32.5 grade while his 90.2 PBE finished ahead of only Arizona Cardinals OT Bradley Sowell.
Mills giving up too much ground on the outside:
And often to the inside as well:
Run Block Snaps: 382
Mills was hit or miss in the running game, often allowing too much penetration or failing to get a push on his man. He did manage to post positive grades in eight of his 15 games with extended playing time, but most were rather average efforts. Many of his seven negatively-graded games were similarly average, but he did have a few duds mixed in there.
Mills gets handled in the running game:
After an encouraging preseason effort, Mills struggled for the majority of his rookie campaign. The Bears will head into the season with him entrenched as the starter at right tackle, but he’ll need to improve as both a pass protector and as a run blocker in order to ensure his long-term future.
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