The Chicago Bears drafted a slot cornerback that is not very well known, so what does he bring?
When the Chicago Bears drafted Duke Shelley, he immediately became the draft prospect of 2019 that many fans have not heard of. Typically, that goes to a small school player such as Joel Iyiegbuniwe. However, Shelley went to Kansas State, he should be known a bit, right?
Well, he did not get an invite to the NFL combine, Dane Brugler had him as his 83rd rated cornerback, and NFL.com did not feel the need to make a draft profile on him. He is officially more of an unknown than Iggy was last season.
Still, this was not surprising in any way. All offseason we highlighted late round options to be drafted in late round six or round seven. The Bears identified plenty of late-round options, in the slot, albeit none were Duke Shelley.
When the team picked, Xavier Crawford was off of the board, but Jimmy Moreland, a slot corner we had tied to the Bears was still around. Duke Shelley comes in at a similar size, but was not quite as athletic as Moreland. Still, Shelley went to Kansas State while Moreland went to James Madison, and the Bears decided to go with the player who faced high octane offenses in the Big 12.
Shelley had a strong 2017 season, but struggled with injuries in 2018 and only played in seven games. Still, he finished with eight career interceptions and took two to the house. Shelley is a productive slot cornerback who fits a similar mold to the ones we had identified. We will see if Shelley is able to compete for special teams time as he slowly tries to earn a role in the slot.