Kyle Fuller - signed through 2017 - When you draft a player in the top half of the 1st round, you expect that player to live up to his potential at some point. Kyle Fuller was the 14th overall pick and the 2nd corner taken in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Bears envisioned his toughness, athleticism and technical ability to eventually get him to the point where he was a reliable #1 corner.
In 2014 he was drafted by Phil Emery for a Mel Tucker zone based defensive system, but now that Fuller is in a different (actual NFL) scheme, the Bears are asking him to do different stuff. After a fairly successful rookie season, Fuller began 2015 struggling to make the transition. But as the year wore on, I thought Fuller's play improved. His rookie stats were more impressive, but he was a better player in 2015. I think another year working with defensive backs coach Ed Donatell and playing in defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's scheme, will bring us an even better Kyle Fuller in 2016.
Tracy Porter - free agent - Porter was the surprise of the 2015 season for the Bears. I don't think anyone really expected him to make the roster, let alone be the Bears' best defensive back. I'd like to see Porter return, but Porter would probably like a longer and larger deal since this may be his last chance at a decent free agent contract. He's turning 30 in August, so a big deal isn't going to happen, but his people could be looking for a 2 or 3 year contract with some guaranteed money. If his demands aren't too outlandish, I think he returns once the corner market is set.
Bryce Callahan - signed through 2016 - The rookie undrafted free agent took over at the nickle spot for the Bears last year and I thought he did enough to earn a shot at keeping the gig in 2016. He had some injury issues he had to deal with, but when he was out there he racked up 21 tackles, a sack and 3 passes defended in 9 games. The Bears should definitely look to upgrade at nickleback, but I'm intrigued to see Callahan's improvement.
Alan Ball - free agent - Ball made $3 million last year on his 1 year deal, so the Bears must have had high hopes for him at some point. He started the first three games of the season, but his play couldn't keep him in the lineup. The Bears went with Porter instead and Ball only saw sporadic action the rest of the year. I don't believe he'll return.
Sherrick McManis - free agent - McManis was given the chance to play on D in 2015, but he struggled mightily. As a special teamer he was very good, but I can't see the Bears bringing him back just to play the 3rd phase.
Jacoby Glenn - signed through 2016 - Glenn spent some time on Chicago's 53 man roster, but he only saw action for 3 snaps last year. I liked the UDFA's length (6') and ball skills coming out of Central Florida and I'm looking forward to see how he performs this offseason. If he can add some strength to his frame, I think he could be a surprise.
De'Vante Bausby - signed through 2016 - Bausby was originally a UDFA of the Chiefs last offseason, but a broken collarbone stunted his K.C. career. The Bears signed him to a reserve/futures deal and he does have decent size at 6'2". Like Glenn, he needs to add some strength to his 179 pound frame.
2016 OUTLOOK - The Bears will either bring Porter back, or sign a similar type of player from free agency; a solid veteran that won't break the bank. So if you have visions of Josh Norman or Sean Smith dancing in your head, you should probably forget about those big money free agents.
Don't get me wrong, I would love for the Bears to go all in on a corner, I just have my doubts. Our own Sam Householder did take a look at Kansas City's Sean Smith right here.
Pittsburgh's William Gay (31 years old) or San Diego's Patrick Robinson (28) could possibly provide a veteran presence if the Bears can't re-sign Porter. But even if the Bears sign a veteran, I'd still like to see a corner drafted at some point.
Chicago Bears Draftwatch: 2016 cornerback prospect Vernon Hargreaves III and a look at 2015 rookie news and notes
Shutdown corners are few and far between, but this week Draftwatch checks in on Florida Gator Vernon Hargreaves III: a standout defensive back that has a solid shot to earn that elusive title in the pros.
And speaking of the draft, be sure to check out the scouting reports from our guy, EJ Snyder. He spotlighted a couple of players that I shared in our Must Reads section. Florida's Vernon Hargreaves III is going to go early in the draft, so if the Bears want him, their only shot would be at 11 in the 1st.
Florida State's Jalen Ramsey is an even bigger long shot for the Bears to grab. He can play anywhere in a defensive secondary with many scouts believing his best pro position is free safety. Most mock drafts have him as a top 5 pick and the first DB off the board.
EJ Snyder also broke down Missouri Western State University's Mike Jordan right here. Jordan is more of a late round/UDFA prospect.
For more on possible corners that could be had this offseason check out this article, You voted and cornerback is the #3 need for the Chicago Bears.
What do you guys think the Bears will do at corner for the 2016 season?