If the Chicago Bears are looking for a longterm slot option, they should look no further than Mark Fields
A stud slot cornerback from a high-end program like Clemson is not supposed to slip into day three of the NFL draft. However, Mark Fields may find himself in that scenario. The Chicago Bears met with Fields before the draft to work him out, as they are preparing for the long term without Bryce Callahan.
What makes Fields an intriguing prospect and why could the Bears wait until day three to find their answer in the slot?
When Mark Fields was on the field for Clemson, he was not targeted much. That is mainly his own doing, as he was exceptional, especially against Alabama. Fields rated fourth in the country in cover snaps per reception, and also had an above average playmaker rating. So, teams were not throwing his way and when they did, they paid for it.
Fields is a small cornerback but uses his quick feet, elite speed and underrated strength to break on passes and disrupt receptions.
As shown in his athletic testing, while he is small, his strength and speed can hang in the NFL.
The strength and speed match his video, as he shows a player with upside that can be unlocked in the NFL.
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The first glaring weakness is his size. This is not a major concern, as he is suited to play in the slot in the NFL. However, with that, it is worth noting that Fields spent his college career on the outside. Most of his move to the NFL will be projection based.
The next question that comes off of that is his playing time. While he typically played outside, he only played 989 career snaps, 307 coming last season. Fields had an ankle injury as a junior, but for a player who saw limited work as a freshman, his lack of progression into the starting lineup in surprising.
The lack of experience can show some in his technique, as he is rawer in his backpedal and footwork. It will also have to be answered why coaches did not force Fields on the field more, despite his production.
Being undersized with limited tape is going to cause you to fall into day three. However, having strength, speed, and upside on video that has been untapped makes Mark Fields an intriguing late round prospect. With Buster Skrine on the roster, the Bears can slow play Fields and get him used to the slot before throwing him out there.
Fields may not have a lot of experience, but he comes from a big time school and has faced stiff competition in key situations. His upside certainly makes him worth the stab in the later rounds of the 2019 NFL draft.