Chicago Bears Mock Draft 3.0: Jalen Carter smoke picks up

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 5
Chicago Bears, Jaelyn Duncan
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears Round 3, Pick 64: Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland

If the Chicago Bears do not take a tackle in the first round, they are going to have to decide what to do there. The reality is that if they do not trade down, or back into the top 50, they will not get a guy that everyone deems day one ready. However, they can take some shots at players with potential, and Jaelyn Duncan is just that.

Duncan was great in 2021, and most scouts said he just had a few things to work on before he became a first-round pick. However, he actually regressed in his senior year and brought on questions. He still has serious technical issues with his hands that limit his upside. However, his drop steps in pass protection are pretty smooth and it creates a solid base as a pass protector. The reality is that he may not be technically ready to start day one of his rookie season.

However, he has all of the things you want athletically to get a first-round pass protector, and now the question is whether he can get all of his untapped upside unlocked. There is a real chance that he can be a trusted starter down the road. Duncan will not go round one, but he does have enough talent that he is worthy of an early third-round pick. If the Chicago Bears do not go tackle early, they may not have a better option.