For rookie fifth-round draft pick Larry Borom, he would describe his rookie season “as kind of a roller coaster.”
After playing 15 snaps in the Week 1 loss to the Rams, Borom was placed on injured reserve with an ankle sprain. On Oct. 30, the day before the Bears’ Week 8 matchup between the 49ers, the Bears activated Borom off IR.
He then started at right tackle against the 49ers and faced one of the best pass rushers in the NFL in Nick Bosa. Borom said it didn’t phase him much when he saw Bosa — who came into the game with six sacks on the season — lineup opposite of him.
According to the rookie, he needed to rely on his technique and everything he had been taught. But moving forward, he expects to face every team’s best edge rusher.
“I mean every week you got to be mentally ready to go against everyone’s top tier,” Borom said. “So I’ll be ready to go against whoever you got. But I can see that being done. Just mentally prepare myself to do what I need to do.”
Borom said he did some good things against the 49ers but acknowledged he could’ve done better in some areas of his game. According to Pro Football Focus, Borom was credited with giving up one sack.
Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it doesn’t get much easier. T.J. Watt is up next. Only Cleveland’s Myles Garrett has more sacks than Watt — who is tied for second with 8.5.
And of course Borom has already started watching film on the Steelers’ top edge rusher.
“He’s a physical, fast player,” Borom said. “He does things that other people can’t. So, that’s that.”
What has helped Borom to navigate the ups and downs of his rookie season is just approaching each day as its own. He also credits his time at Missouri for helping prepare him.
In 2020, Borom faced Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari, who the Giants selected with the 50th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Ojulari finished the season with 9.5 sacks but didn’t register any in the game against Missouri.
“Definitely the SEC prepares you for these types of moments,” Borom said. “You’re going up against great players day in and day out. Last year with it being just an all-SEC schedule, I mean, you had to be ready for everything.”
Borom’s roller-coaster first year is already nearing the halfway point. And for Borom, Monday night will be yet another difficult challenge, but that’s nothing new for the rookie.