The Chicago Bears have some obvious needs in the draft, so we’re going to give our picks at those positions that we’re hoping to see the Monsters of the Midway come away with. Yesterday we gave the offensive lineman’s name we hope to hear called on draft weekend, and for part-two of this roundtable I posed this question to the WCG staffers;
Which defensive back is “your guy” in the 2022 NFL Draft that you really hope the Bears draft?
And here’s what our team had to say.
Jacob Infante - Cornerback is the bigger need in the Bears’ secondary, and while I’m not thrilled about the value that could be had in Round 2, I’m a big fan of Houston’s Marcus Jones in Round 3. Not only is he an accomplished return specialist with 9 collegiate touchdowns on special teams, but he’s also a ballhawk with 9 interceptions and 31 pass deflections in four seasons. He’s an incredible athlete with fluid hips, great deep speed and the lateral mobility needed to mirror just about any route concept in the book. He may be small, but he would be so much fun to watch in Chicago’s back end of the defense.
EJ Snyder - The Bears are woefully thin at both outside corner AND safety... which leaves plenty of players to choose from in this draft. A player I love that I think the Bears realistically have a shot at is Martin Emerson (CB, Mississippi St.). Emerson has very good size (6’2”, 201), fluid hips, enough speed (4.5 40-yd. dash), and plays an extremely physical brand of off-man coverage throughout a receiver’s route. He played in the SEC and has tons of experience against many of the top WR’s in the nation. Emerson might be available around the Bears 3rd-round pick (#71) and he’d look terrific in navy and orange across the field from Jaylon Johnson.
Martin Emerson is a CB prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 8.44 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 301 out of 1923 CB from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/yBWIUvr4bJ #RAS pic.twitter.com/JIPNdSt4rD— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 1, 2022
Josh Sunderbruch - Jaylon Watson (CB), Washington State. Watson is 6’1” and 211lbs and only has a single year of decent play. In all honesty, it is not Watson, specifically, I want in this slot (but I think he has a high upside). Instead, Watson represents what I think the Bears need to do at defensive back for 2022. They need to let the holes in defense be a second priority while they focus on putting together a more complete offense. Watson has high upside, and he’s worth a flyer in the later rounds while Eberflus figures out which DBs on the team are worth keeping around.
Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - It’s Roger McCreary, and it’s not even close. Where he didn’t run as fast as I had hoped during the combine, his ball and coverage skills are unquestionable. Matt Eberflus and his coaching staff are bringing in the basket drill for Chicago’s secondary. Roger McCreary plays the basket better than anyone else in this year’s class - he’ll punch the ball out of the receiver’s hands instead of allowing the completion to be made. People question his size. I’ll point them towards Tim Jennings. He reminds me of a slightly larger version of Tim Jennings that plays the run and screen game better than most corners in general. The one issue I had with him was his habit of not looking back towards the ball when challenging the receiver in any catch. That was due to poor coaching, and with a new staff at Auburn, that issue was resolved quickly. He’s a stud who will compliment Jaylon Johnson perfectly for years to come.
Rahul Ramachandran - I haven’t dove completely into my DB film yet, but Jalyn Armour-Davis was a guy who flashed when I watched Alabama in the fall. He was injured to close out the season but had a nice combine. He’s got phenomenal physical tools and showed enough polish when I watched him for me to think he has a chance to be something at the next level.
Robert Schmitz - Coby Bryant, corner from Cincinnati, though realistically I’d rather the Bears spend Day 2 adding on offense until they’re blue in the face — Bryant plays exactly the physical brand of football that Eberflus likes to see in his corners, and while his footspeed isn’t crazy it doesn’t need to be in a Cover-2 defense. This fit makes a lot of sense to me, though I think we could see a later-round Mario Goodrich-type selection instead.
Patti Curl - Nebraska Cornhusker Cam Taylor-Britt is an aggressive, athletic corner who has the potential to shine in Eberflus’ defense. He has great instincts and athleticism to make plays on the ball in a zone scheme. His eagerness can lead to being faked out on double moves or miss tackles when he commits to early. He has a bit of a bull-in-a-China shop rawness that will endear him to Bears fans, and will likely be the reason he’ll be available to the Bears for one of their later day two picks.
With the draft such a big moment for the Bears I had to reach out for a couple members of our podcasting family, Brandon Robinson and Dannhy Meehan, to get their takes on this series too.
Brandon Robinson - Jalen Pitre, slot cornerback from Baylor is my guy for the secondary in this year’s class. Guy has electric ability coming downhill that would bring a major tone to this defense. Excellent run defender that has a unique ability to knife through the OL and make plays in the backfield. Many have trouble slotting him at a specific position but I believe he would project well as a slot cornerback in Eberflus’ defense.
Danny Meehan - It’s Bryan Cook for me. The Cincinnati safety is capable in coverage, but he makes his bones as a sure tackling, shot out of a canon, bringer of wood. He had to cut his teeth and earn his way to his starting spot, and he’ll need to keep developing in the long run. He’s tone-setting, leader type on the backend of a defense that brings an attitude to the field.
Now it’s your turn, who is “your guy” that plays either corner or safety that you want to see the Bears draft?