Fixing the Bears Defense (Part 5: NFL Draft / DB)

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Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

LaMarcus Joyner (5’9, 190) FSU: The only knock on this guy is his height. Joyner is a heck of a football player, but at 5’8 he will most likely be limited to a slot corner role. At Florida St. Joyner was moved around a lot between nickel corner and both safety positions and an NFL team will have to do something similar to protect him from mismatches with tall receivers. It’s worth it to have Joyner on the field. Despite his small frame, he is legitimate hitter and has laid out much bigger players on a regular basis in college. Joyner is strong enough against the run to play in the box as a SS and fast enough (4.40) in coverage to lock down slot receivers. His versatility is an asset; In addition to playing CB or Safety, Joyner is an excellent blitzer and an explosive kick returner. Joyner will most likely fall to the 3rd round due to his lack of height and will be a steal for whoever grabs him there.

NFL comparison: Tyronn Mathieu


Jason Verrett (5’10, 182) TCU: Like Joyner, Verrett’s only real weakness is his height. Verrett plays excellent press, man, and zone coverage, is a sure tackler, and has good ball skills (9 career INTs). Verrett is rumored to be even shorter than listed, so he may be relegated to a slot corner position. For two years, he has been one of the best CBs in college football and will have value for whoever drafts him even if it’s just as a nickel corner.

NFL comparison: Captain Munnerlyn


Louchiez Purifoy (6’0, 190) Fla: Elite athlete. Has ideal speed & size for a CB, but his technique needs work. Purifoy plays with swagger and has the confidence you look for in a corner. He shows flashes of being a big time playmaker, but gets sloppy in coverage, takes too many risks, and didn’t generate as many turnovers as a guy with his talent should have (2 INTs in 3 years). If he can be coached, there is a ton of talent to work with and Purifoy could become a #1 CB down the road.

NFL comparison: Chris Houston


Kyle Fuller (6’0, 194) VT: Solid technical CB who excels in press coverage and defending short to intermediate routes. Fuller has good size and is very physical in coverage and against the run. He lacks elite speed, so can be beat deep. Fuller also has had some nagging injuries which will be examined closely by teams. Fuller will be a great fit for teams that play a lot of press coverage and is polished enough to make an impact as a #2 CB right away.

NFL comparison: Asante Samuel


Stanley Jean-Baptiste (6’3, 220) NEB: Super-sized CB who was converted from WR as a sophomore. With only 2 years playing the position, Jean-Baptiste is understandably raw from a technical standpoint but has shown a ton of natural ability in coverage. Due to his experience as a WR he has excellent ball skills and has used his unusual size to deflect a lot of passes. Jean-Baptiste has enough speed (4.5) to play the position in the NFL and more than enough size to match-up with the biggest NFL receivers. His tackling technique is bad right now but with some coaching and his size, Jean-Baptiste could eventually be an impact defender against the run. He’s a developmental prospect but has unlimited upside.

NFL comparison: Sean Smith