Could Chicago Bears target Jalen Nailor in 2022 NFL draft?
The Chicago Bears hosted Jalen Nailor at Halas Hall, using one of their 30 pre-draft visits to get to know the wide receiver from Michigan State more. Considering the need at wide receivers it makes sense that the team would be looking into the deep crop of wide receivers. Who is Jalen Nailor and when would the Chicago Bears consider him in the 2022 NFL draft?
Who is Jalen Nailor?
Jalen Nailor was a former track athlete who got onto the field a bit during his true freshman season. He redshirted as a sophomore after missing most of the year due to an injury. You can see his four-year statistic below.
Nailor obviously was impacted by his first season back being the COVID year but took advantage of his last year, and posted career highs despite missing four games to an injury.
Thanks to MockDraftable we can see how he compares to previous NFL athletes at the combine.
Jalen Nailor is not the biggest wide receiver. Still, he was able to post above-average speed and had great explosive drills in both jumps. Jalen Nailor did not do as well in the change of direction and agility drills such as the three-cone and short shuttle, where he posted below-average numbers.
Where Jalen Nailor wins in the NFL
The best trait that Jalen Nailor possesses is his ability to change speeds while tracking the football. If he can spot the football he can blow defenders in the dust with his ability to maintain strides while tracking. This, combined with a quick and shifty release off of the line of scrimmage could make him a deep threat in the NFL.
Where Jalen Nailor may struggle in the NFL
Jalen Nailor missed too much time during his tenure at Michigan State to earn real draft capital. Every year he played was cut short due to varying issues. Despite that, while he can turn it on against Big 10 corners backs, his speed is closer to average in the NFL. At his size, there are a lot of deep threats faster than him. Lastly, his size hurts his ability to come down with the contested catch as often as you would want.
NFL Comparison for Jalen Nailor
When you combine the style of play with athleticism, the best NFL comparison for Jalen Nailor is Dyami Brown. Dyami Brown was a third-round pick by Washington last season, and he just finished his rookie season.
You can see how the two compare below thanks to RAS.
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Both are skinny at about a similar height with similar speed scores. They have the same exact broad jump and close enough agility scores.
Beyond that, they are used in similar manners. In college, it was easy for Brown and Nailor to be deep threats because of their ball tracking ability and ability to separate at the last second. However, Brown was typically a fourth wideout and splash player because he was not well rounded as a wideout, and was not going to win the races down the sideline as consistently as in college.
The role that Brown played as a rookie would be a fair rookie season expectation for Jalen Nailor.
Would the Chicago Bears draft Jalen Nailor?
Dane Brugler of The Athletic has Nailor rated as a sixth or seventh-round pick. It makes sense that the Chicago Bears would want to get to know Nailor because they have two round-five picks and a round-six selection.
The team likely wants to know whether he can tough out some of the injuries in the NFL and whether he can bring return game value or be willing to play special teams as a fourth or fifth wide receiver.
Going from a starter to a sixth-round pick and depth wideout is something you have to be ready for, so it makes sense that they would want to meet with him to get a sense of how he would fit into their culture. If Nailor is available in round six we could not be surprised if the Chicago Bears draft him.