Chicago Bears: Big Ten prospects to watch during 2020 season

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

9. OT. Jalen Mayfield, Michigan

Another offensive tackle, Jalen Mayfield is also another really intriguing prospect. Starting a total of 16 games between the last two seasons, 2020 will provide Mayfield with another chance to prove that he’s a strong part of Michigan’s offensive line.

As a starter at right tackle, one of the biggest aspects of Mayfield’s game throughout 2019 was his ability to impact the running game, something that the Bears have struggled to do throughout the Matt Nagy era.

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, it’s clear that Mayfield has the potential to start at the next level, however, there is one major red flag in his game that he’ll need to work out. While Mayfield is a strong asset in the running game, he does need to improve as a pass protector, sometimes getting overwhelmed by speed and then overpursuing the defender he is guarding.

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Right now, Mayfield is likely a day two pick that could interest the Bears in the second or third-round during the 2021 NFL Draft. However, that could certainly change as he’s not necessarily a developmental piece by any means but someone who will see action during his first season in the NFL, even if it’s just for a few games. For someone who has just 16 starts in his career, he’ll have an opportunity to improve his draft stock, even with a shortened season.