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Bears sign cornerback Duke Shelley; entire 2019 draft class locked up

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There won’t be any holdouts this offseason, as everyone from the 2019 class has signed their rookie deals.

NCAA Football: Texas at Kansas State
Duke Shelley has signed his rookie deal.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears announced on Thursday their signing of their sixth-round pick, Kansas State cornerback Duke Shelley. The signing means that every member of their 2019 draft class has now signed their rookie contract.

Shelley, who will be 23 in October, was selected with the No. 205 overall pick in the draft. An honorable mention All-Big 12 in 2017, he ended his collegiate career with eight interceptions and 31 pass deflections in four seasons. He had three interceptions and nine pass deflections last season before his season was ended prematurely due to injury after seven games.

Despite being a late-round pick, some view Shelley as a potential starter at nickelback for the Bears. The team signed veteran Buster Skrine in free agency to help replace the departed Bryce Callahan, but Shelley’s skill set—as well as Skrine’s struggles in recent seasons—could make him a contributor right out of the gate. His athleticism, ball skills and instincts in coverage make him an intriguing addition late on Day 3.

Spotrac projects that Shelley will make just above $526,000 in his rookie season.