In case you didn’t know, the Chicago Bears need a tackle. There’s an excellent chance they fill that need in round one, but there’s always a chance that things happen and the Bears go another direction in the first.
Perhaps Jalen Carter is the selection at nine; perhaps they trade back and the tackles they are targeting go off the board before them. Whatever the case may be, there’s always a chance that things don’t quite work out and the Bears are still in need of a tackle when they are back on the clock.
If the Bears don’t land a higher pick in round 2, they are currently looking at 53, 61 and 64 with their next three selections. Here are three options they could target in that range:
Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse
For the purpose of this exercise, we are assuming that Peter Skoronski, Paris Johnson, Darnell Wright and Broderick Jones are all long gone. We are also considering that Anton Harrison and Dawand Jones have found their way off the board. Bergeron has the length that Ryan Poles desires, is already a solid pass protector, and also spent multiple years playing right tackle before moving over to left tackle last season.
Bergeron’s technique could still use some help, but he’s shown the ability to improve in some areas already and also brings a strong run blocking ability to the NFL and consistently has the ability to get to the second level when blocking in the open field. Bergeron may be off the board by 53, but if he is there, he’s the type of player that might even be able to step in and start at right tackle as a rookie.
Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland
In my eyes, the only other player in this range that might be able to start as a rookie is Cody Mauch from North Dakota State, but there’s a good chance that Mauch’s future is at guard, not tackle, so based on the Ryan Poles’ thresholds, we are going to leave Mauch off this list.
Duncan is a guy that almost certainly will be available for the Bears to take with one of these three selections. Duncan didn’t start playing football until he was in high school, and he developed quickly. There are questions to Duncan’s game, no doubt about it, but Duncan has the type of athleticism that Poles covets.
Duncan needs to work on some things before he’s ready to start at the NFL level, especially with his combo blocks and finishing blocks, something he struggles with for sure, but Poles may love his athletic traits and think he’s someone that could develop into a key part of this offensive line.
Blake Freeland, BYU
I really wonder if Freeland is the top guy that Ryan Poles has circled to take on day two. He fits so much of what he likes. He has excellent length and outstanding athleticism. He has played both the right side and left side at tackle, but Freeland’s biggest issue out of the gate is going to be strength.
If Freeland starts right away, he will probably be pushed around by NFL defenders, but he has the frame to build strength in the coming years once he’s part of an NFL strength and conditioning program.
Freeland has good hands, size and speed. His technique needs some help as well, but he absolutely has the ability to become a long-time NFL starter at tackle. Freeland did not play well at the Senior Bowl, and that may help him fall.