The last three mocks we’ve discussed here on Windy City Gridiron have had the Bears going in different directions. We’ve had one taking North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky (QB), one going with LSU’s Jamal Adams (S), and one was a trade back situation and it went with Ohio State’s Malik Hooker (S).
In the last two mock drafts from Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network, both have the Chicago Bears going with Ohio State cornerback, Marshon Lattimore. Brooks said, “The Bears need a CB1 to compete in a division loaded with big-time quarterbacks,” and Jeremiah said, “Three players that make the most sense for the Bears: Malik Hooker, Jamal Adams, and Lattimore. They can't go wrong with any of these players.“
Brooks and Jeremiah recently had a NFL Network media conference call, and while the discussion hit on numerous draft topics, both expounded on what makes Lattimore such a solid prospect.
According to Brooks, there isn’t a “transcendent star” at the cornerback position in this draft, and he believes most teams would view this class as a bunch of “number two corners.”
H says of Lattimore specifically, “He is probably the most athletic, the most polished in terms of being the natural shutdown corner that you look for. Hamstring issues and durability issues kind of prevent me from jumping on him as a guy that could be a star at the position.”
Now if doesn’t think Lattimore isn’t a star and he doesn’t see him higher than a number 2 corner, does that scream 3rd overall draft pick to you?
Daniel Jeremiah disagrees with his colleague, saying about Lattimore, “Provided he's healthy, I think he's got a chance to be a number one corner pretty quickly here in the NFL.”
If I’m drafting a corner with the 3rd overall pick, I expect his ceiling to be that of a #1 corner.
At one point in the prospect evaluation process, Jeremiah had Lattimore as his #2 overall player. “I viewed him as a premier player from the first time I watched, and that didn't change.” said Jeremiah. “I thought he was consistent throughout the tapes that you watch and study on him.”
He ended up dropping him from the 2nd overall prospect position, but he’s always been his top corner. Here’s why he dropped him a bit in his rankings,
That was based off of purely the soft tissue issues when you look at the hamstrings, not being able to complete the combine workout scared me a little bit, as I'm sure it raised a red flag with some teams. He has a history there. You don't want to see him hung up in the postseason process.
But as Jeremiah said, when Lattimore is healthy, he can become a #1 corner.
What you see on the field is I see somebody that has all the speed you need at that position. He's smooth, fluid, instinctive. He can play the football at the highest point, can he locate it, which is easier said than done. There are other guys that are really talented in this draft that cannot find, locate and play the ball down the field. He has a chance, with everything in his skill set. That's why I have him where I have him.
The injury history does worry me a bit, but the Bears’ doctors will give him a thorough once over. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him go at three to Chicago.
Our own Robert Zeglinski took a detailed look at Lattimore yesterday, and you can find that right here.