The Bears have a lot of options in the draft and could go any number of directions should they so choose. While part of this can be chalked up to general manager Ryan Pace and his free agency signings, which freed him up to take the best player available to him, the other part of it is an indictment on the roster itself and the old regimes; the team has so many needs/holes that any position could, really, be of help.
At first glance it might not seem like the Bears need more cornerback help; after all, they have Kyle Fuller returning and he should grow more in year two, becoming a full-time starter and impact player. They also have Tim Jennings, who despite his age and down season can still be a serviceable player. The third corner is Allan Ball, whom Pace brought in on a one-year deal; Ball has some skills and should be able to battle for playing time. The team also has Sherrick McManis, Demontre Hurst and Al Louis-Jean returning.
With all that experience and a good mix of youth, why would the Bears take another CB in round two?
Byron Jones is not just another CB prospect, he has jump out of the gym athleticism. From NationalFootballPost.com:
While Jones didn't run at the Combine, he did the other drills, and they were off the chart. His 12'3" standing long jump is the best ever recorded at the Combine since it began in 1985. His 44.5' vertical jump is one of the best and his 6.78 3-cone and 3.94 20 yard shuttle were among the best of his position group. With those numbers, it's safe to say that Jones can easily run in the low 4.4's if not faster.
Jones became much more well-known after his combine performance, but he is much more than another workout warrior. From nflmocks.com:
Byron Jones has some of the best instincts in the draft at the cornerback position. His field awareness is immaculate in the fact that he diagnoses the route that the wide receiver is running and pounces on it for the interception or PBU.
In my opinion, Byron Jones' ability to mirror the receivers with both quickness and physicality is second-to-none in this class. The entire game against ECU, he went up against two talented receivers in Justin Hardy and Cam Worthy, and for the most part, got the better of both of them.
Jones has played both safety and corner and has drawn comparisons to Patriots S/CB Devin McCourty. With his experience (he was a 3.5-year starter at UConn) and his off the charts athleticism, it's easy to think Jones could be long gone by the times the Bears get on the clock at No. 39.
However, anything can happen in the draft and while there are teams rumored to be high on him, such as Philadelphia (No. 20 in round one) and Patriots (No. 32), it isn't out of the question that he will still be around when Chicago is on the clock on day two.
Is Jones a player worthy of a second round look, or he is another workout warrior whose skills don't translate to the pads?