Why Chicago Bears have interest in drafting Jordan McFadden
The Chicago Bears brought in Clemson tackle Jordan McFadden to Halas for one of their top 30 pre-draft visits. The move makes sense considering McFadden has played both left and right tackle during his career at Clemson.
Chicago Bears may convert Jordan McFadden to center in the NFL
However, the actual reason the Chicago Bears are bringing in Jordan McFadden is so that they can get eyes on how he moves as a center, and how comfortable he will be in that role. When you look at McFadden, and his athletic profile, he stands at just 6'2".
Since the NFL combine started to collect data only Shane Olivea was under 6'3" and became a starter at tackle. He is too small to play tackle in the NFL.
Even at center, he is on the shorter side, but his arm length more than makes up for it inside. McFadden played in a zone-heavy scheme and would fit well as a zone center. That is obviously what the team would be looking for.
They are not the only ones thinking this. McFadden showed well at Clemson and may have an NFL future, but teams know that is not at tackle. At his Pro Day, he spent the whole session inside, and most of his highlights were at center.
There is obviously a lot more projection with him than others, but plenty of college tackles move inside to both center and guard. It is because the best linemen overall play tackle until they get to the absolute highest level. This is why you bring him in for a private workout. If you liked what you saw at Clemson, you now want to see more and see specific things that you want to be answered behind closed doors.
McFadden is expected to be a day-three pick. If the Chicago Bears miss out on one of the bigger name centers in the second round they may not force something in the fourth round. They may be able to wait until later on day three and add McFadden.
They have Cody Whitehair, so McFadden would not have to start right away, but they could track his progress all season, and if Whitehair gets injured, they could decide if he is ready to start. Beyond that, they could enter 2024 with a real solution at center.
Of course, this could be a miss, and they may have to go for a new center next season. Still, if they miss on the centers in round two, they may have to do that anyways. Will the Chicago Bears take a swing on Jordan McFadden to move him to center?