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Chicago Bears 2016 Position Battles: Are the corners are ready to silence the doubters?

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

I could very well copy and paste the open to my article looking at the Chicago Bears’ safeties, because Chicago’s corners were a question mark this offseason as well. I’ll parrot what I said over there; A better front seven will really help out the Bears’ defensive backs.

Football starts in the trenches and if you can win that fight, you have a better chance of winning the war. Stop the run, force teams into 3rd and longs, get after the quarterback. If the new faces up front on defense can do that, the corners will be fine.

I think Chicago’s corners took too much crap last year anyway. The perception was that they were bad, and while they certainly weren’t great, they played decent football. At least one NFL analyst called the Bears’ starting duo the 5th best in the NFL.

Being forced to cover for as long as they did is a recipe for disaster, so if D coordinator Vic Fangio’s troops can attack opposing QBs a bit more consistently, I don’t think there’ll be a lot of hand-wringing over the corners this year.

Roster Locks

I really think Kyle Fuller is a good football player. His stats may not show it with only two interceptions in 2015, but he brings some versatility to the cornerback spot. He can press, he can play zone and he’ll come up and hit you. He was on a horrible defense his rookie year, last year the Bears’ D was in a transition phase, so I think this year his play will shine.

Tracy Porter is a solid veteran that the Bears brought back on a 3 year, $12M, $4.25M guaranteed deal, so they obviously liked his play more than the average fan. He’ll turn 30 next month, and he’s a good veteran influence in the secondary. as long as his body holds up, I think he has a solid 2016.

Rookie Deiondre' Hall is 6’2" and has one of the largest wingspans you’ll ever see. Check out his spider graph from Mock Draftable;

At corner, his length will help make up for only having 4.68 speed, but there's a chance he eventually settles in at safety for the Bears. At the University of Northern Iowa he played safety, corner and their rover (LB/NB) position.

A good bet to make it

Bryce Callahan may have some competition at nickle with the newly signed Brandon Boykin, but I think Callahan showed too much potential to be released. The Bears ran a dime defense last year, so even if Bryce isn’t the primary NB, I think he has a good chance at sticking.

If healthy, Boykin (now wearing #22) should win a spot on the roster. He can obviously play nickle, but he can also line up outside.

Sherrick McManis hasn't shown much of an ability to make plays on D, but he's a very good special teamer. I know some fans are down on him, but keeping a guy that played 60% of the 3rd phase snaps last year is highly probable.

On the bubble

Last year the Bears went into week one with six corners on the roster, so if they do the same this time, that means these guys will really have to shine to win a job.

Jacoby Glenn (6'), De'Vante Bausby (6'2") and Taveze Calhoun (6'1") all have good length, and all are practice squad candidates. Glenn was on Chicago's active roster last year for one game, but he's a guy that had really good numbers at UCF as a redshirt sophomore in 2014 with seven interceptions. He was named AAC Defensive Player of the Year that year, but he went undrafted.

Bausby was an UDFA signing of the Chiefs in 2015 after four years at Pittsburgh State, but he didn;t stick on their roster. The Bears grabbed him in December.

Callhoun was a UDFA this year and he probably has to add some strength before being ready for the rigors of an NFL season. Kevin Peterson (5'10") is another UDFA from 2015 and like Callhoun, he has a high football I.Q. that gives him a chance to earn a job.

How do you guys see the corners shaking out?