The Chicago Bears haven’t added any right tackles through the first few days of free agency. While there’s still plenty of time for GM Ryan Poles to add a starting-quality veteran, if not a top-shelf player at the position, the Bears will do their due diligence on the crop of tackles in the 2023 NFL draft.
One tackle prospect whose stock is on the rise is Maryland’s Jaelyn Duncan. He began the 2022 college season as a potential first-round pick, but a sub-par season caused him to slide into the Day-2 conversation.
After a strong showing at the 2023 Senior Bowl, Duncan re-inserted himself among the top offensive tackles in this year’s draft.
The Chicago Bears will use one of their Top 30 visits on him to better evaluate who he is as a person.
Jaelyn Duncan fits everything Ryan Poles looks for in an offensive tackle. He’s a well-built/lean athlete with very good movement skills. There’s no doubt he’ll play well on the edge in the NFL; he’s a plug-and-play starter from Day 1 as a rookie, although NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein views him more as a guard.
“Highly athletic four-year starter at left tackle who might have the best chance to stick in the league as a zone-scheme guard,” Zierlein wrote in his scouting report. “It’s easy to love the athletic flashes, but it’s challenging to love the complete body of work when studying the game tape. Duncan rarely plays with enough finish and his man is frequently near the final action because of it. He has the foot speed to protect as a left tackle, but his ability to anchor is a major concern. His lateral quickness should work to his advantage as a move blocker, but he’ll need to unearth enough grit to stand up to NFL bullies at the point of attack to make it.”
If the Chicago Bears have their heart set on Duncan, they may have to trade up in the second round to land him. There’s a chance he’ll come off the board in the late-first round, but if he slides into Day 2, he’ll be a top target for teams that need an offensive tackle.