4th round (#117) – CB Rasul Douglas, West Virginia (6’2 | 209 | 4.59)
Like Evans, Douglas could drop in the draft due to a loaded draft class at the cornerback position. Douglas was also projected to be a higher pick after the Senior Bowl but a slow 40-time at the combine (4.59) has dropped his stock a bit to the third-fourth round range.
The Bears have shown a willingness to gamble on tall corners with speed issues in the draft, like their pick of Deiondre Hall (4.69 40-time) last year. Douglas is an ideal fit for DC Vic Fangio’s scheme with a knack for disrupting receivers at the line of scrimmage and above-average ball skills. In his first year as a starter for Mountaineers, Douglas had eight interceptions.
His length gives him an advantage over most receivers and combined with a 33.5″ vertical allows him to win his fair share of 50-50 balls. The tape on Douglas shows good instincts, anticipation, and closing burst on slants and out routes. He’s a prototype zone corner but has also had success as a press corner.
Within 15-20 yards of the line of scrimmage, Douglas is one of the best corners in this year’s draft but his lack of long-speed and acceleration could give him problems covering NFL receivers with elite speed. He needs to improve his back pedal and coverage technique, but in the right scheme Douglas could be an impact player right away.
The Bears added a couple of starting caliber corners through free agency and have potentially solid backups outside in Tracy Porter and Kyle Fuller, but could groom Douglas for the near future as a starting corner for the Bears. His ball skills will come in handy even as a rookie in sub-packages, as he might have better ball-skills than any corner on the Bears roster right now.
With Prince Amukamara on just a one-year deal, Doulgas could take over across form Marcus Cooper in 2018 and give the Bears two tall corners with ball skills and the ability to jam receivers on the outside. Douglas may not last this long in the draft, as it will come down to team’s preferences, but if he does then the Bears should consider themselves fortunate.