The Bears continued to add depth in the secondary with the recent news that they have signed CB Bryce Callahan from Rice. Callahan is one of my favorite slot corners in this year’s draft and a guy I had pegged for the Bears 7th round pick (when they still had one).
Callahan is a feisty corner who plays much bigger than his diminutive size (5’9 | 183 4.47) and reminds me a bit of recently retired Cortland Finnegan, a guy who opposing players hate to play against.
He isn’t a good match for the type of big corner DC Vic Fangio normally targets, but he does play with a physicality Fangio looks for. He’s very aggressive at the line of scrimmage in press coverage and has the speed and fluid hips to stay with receivers in space as well. Callahan is the type of smart, tough leader that GM Ryan Pace said he will be targeting in the draft. The Bears have a promising slot corner in Demontre Hurst, but Callahan could give him a run for the slot job and worst case provide value in dime packages and on special teams.
Callahan plays much bigger than his size, has excellent ball skills (14 career INTs), and seems to elevate his play against better competition. He has a fluid back pedal, sticky man coverage skills, good short-area quickness, and is a fierce hitter in run support despite his small frame. Callahan was one of my favorite day 3 prospects and I think he will end up being a starting-caliber slot corner early in his NFL career.
The Bears currently have Demontre Hurst at the top of the depth chart in the slot and I am a big fan of Hurst as well, but there isn’t much depth behind him (Terrance Mitchell?). Adding a player like Callahan to the mix would give the Bears some depth in the slot and a player who can contribute in sub packages when teams line up in 4-5 WR sets. Callahan will need to make an impact on special teams to earn a roster spot, but with his willingness to hit that shouldn’t be a problem.