Bears Day 2 Draft Prospects: Cornerbacks
Xavien Howard, Baylor (6’0 | 201 | 4.51)
Two year starter for Baylor who spent most of his time on an island in man coverage. Howard uses his size very well in short areas against slants and quick outs. He excels in press coverage and would fit best in an aggressive coverage scheme. Howard got beat too often on deeper routes, but to his credit improved as the season went on. He has excellent ball skills with 10 interceptions and 23 pass breakups in his two seasons as a starter.
Howard has the length and the ability to be a shut-down corner against bigger NFL receivers. He’s so aggressive on short routes, that Howard may need some safety help early in his career, but with some technique improvement Howard can be a Richard Sherman type lock down corner. He uses his size well to stop the run and could contribute right away in sub-packages at least.
It may take Howard a year or two to become a quality starting corner, but he has the size, speed, ball skills, and athleticism to be a NFL starter within a year or two. The Bears need a big corner and Howard has the potential to eventually give the Bears a legitimate weapon against some of the bigger receivers in the conference while being an asset against the run.
Artie Burns, Miami (6’0 | 193 | 4.42)
Left college a season earlier than he probably should have due to the loss of his mother and having to support both his daughter and two younger sisters. Burns has ideal size and speed to be a starting NFL corner. Like Howard, Burns is best in press coverage, but has better recovery speed as a former track star. Burns is a bit raw in coverage but has excellent ball skills. He had six interceptions last year despite being matched up against the top opposing receivers. He got beat often by the more polished receivers he faced due to his raw technique, but has ideal size, speed, and hands. It may take Burns some time to earn NFL snaps, but he has the talent to be a solid NFL corner with some coaching.
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