Tuesday I finalized the Offensive Linemen draft board rankings for the Chicago Bears, and today I will do the same with the 3rd pressing need, the Cornerback. Going into training camp last year, most fans thought this position was stabilized with veteran Charles Tillman and 3rd year pro Zackary Bowman, who was coming off an impressive 2nd year campaign. The benching of Bowman in the week 3 game against the Packers made this position a dire need. Tim Jennings was solid throughout the season, but got victimize in the playoffs by Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings. Now going into the draft and free agency the Bears have to figure out where they will find a solid starter to pair with Tillman.
Today I will look at my top 15 CB prospects in this years draft class, and pick a CB that can stabilize that LCB position for years to come.
#1 Patrick Peterson LSU- Peterson is the top DB in the draft that should go in the top 5. There have been talks that he could also play FS at the next level, but I would keep him at CB.
#2 Prince Amukamara Nebraska- Probably the most physical CB in this class, Amukamara has all the potential to develop into a top shutdown corner.
#3 Jimmy Smith Colorado- Character concerns is causing his stock to drop a bit, but I still don't see him getting out the first round. The kid is too much of a talent to pass up on.
#4 Brandon Harris Miami- Charlie Casserely on Path of the Draft said that Harris is either a starting corner or dime corner. Most draft experts seem to agree with Casserely as they see him as a 2nd round prospect.
#5 Aaron Williams Texas- Teams are split between what position is best for Williams at the next level. Some teams see him as a corner, but others see him being a better football player at FS.
#6 Devon House New Mexico- House excels best in man coverage, and can also press receivers at the line of scrimmage. He has worked out for the Bears so he's definitely on their radar.
2nd to 3rd round
#7 Curtis Brown Texas- I wasn't as a high on Curtis Brown in my 1st cornerback draft board, but he really impressed me at the combine with his ball skills.
#8 Ras-I Dowling Virginia- Dowling hasn't been able to workout because of the hamstring he pulled on his 40 yd dash, but he finish the 40 with a 4.4 40 time.
3rd round to 4th round
#9 Johnny Patrick Louisville- His 40 time at the combine has hurt his stock but the game tape doesn't lie; Patrick is a very talented corner who could end up being one of the best in this class years from now.
#10 Brandon Burton Utah- Burton is a well instinctive corner, probably one of the best in this draft. What is keeping him rated as a 3rd round prospect is his 4.50 40 time, and that he's finesse CB.
#11 Marcus Gilchrist Clemson- Gilchrist is a talented corner who has the potential to transition to FS at the next level.
#12 Rashad Carmichael Virginia Tech- Carmichael has been a favorite of mines for a while now. He's a prospect that if brought along right can be a solid starting CB
#13 Jahlil Brown Colorado- His teammate Jimmy Smith gets a lot of the attention, but Brown is just as physical and good in man coverage as Smith.
#14 Kendric Burney North Carolina- Walterfootball.com continues to mock a small (5-9) slow (4.72 40 times) CB with the Bears 3rd round pick. No wonder this guy regularly gets a bunch of hate mail from Bears fans.
4th to 6th round
#15a Shareece Wright USC- Wright has good ball skills and reads QB's eyes really well. That's a pretty good combination to have for a defensive back.
#15b Buster Skrine UT- Chattanooga- Jon Hoke worked out Skrine a couple weeks ago. Mike Mayock and Deion Sanders raved about the kid at the combine as he ran a 4.29 40 and look good in drills.
Mock Cornerback Pick for the Bears: Devon House New Mexico
It came down between House or Johnny Patrick I had to roll with House. My reasoning for picking House over Patrick is House ability to come up to the line and delay the timing of the opposing receiver route. We saw towards the end of the season that the Bears started using their corners to press receivers all while also playing man coverage. The past selections of Zackary Bowman and Joshua Moore should tell fans that the Bears are moving in another direction as far as certain style of corner; I see that trend continuing with Devon House.