Chicago Bears: New Additions Brings More Competition at Cornerback

With the 2019 NFL Draft officially in the books, all of the teams in the league can now focus on their respective upcoming rookie minicamps, organized team activities (OTAs), and training camps that will start this summer. As for the Chicago Bears, minicamps, OTAs and training camp will showcase numerous battles at key positons.

Every Bears fan knows about the competition to replace kicker Cody Parkey, which currently has five kickers vying for that spot. Then there’s the battle in the backfield to see who will fill the void left by Jordan Howard. Even the unsuspected selection of Georgia wide receiver Riley Ridley in this year’s draft will bring a competitive spirit to the receiving corps. But one competition that will be key in developing Chicago’s depth chart will be at cornerback.

We all know that the Bears’ top two corners will be Prince Amukamara and Pro Bowler Kyle Fuller, who tied for first in the NFL with seven interceptions in 2018. However, after that, everything is pretty much up in the air.

One almost-certain thing we can say is that newly-signed cornerback Buster Skrine will be penciled in to cover the slot, which was previously occupied by Bryce Callahan, who is now with the Denver Broncos. Chicago still has 10-year veteran Sherrick McManis, who replaced Callahan after suffering a broken foot late in the 2018 season. Behind McManis, there is Kevin Toliver II, John Franklin III, Michael Joseph, and Jonathon Mincy.

Then there are the two additions general manager Ryan Pace added this past weekend, Duke Shelley and Stephen Denmark. The Bears picked Shelley out of Kansas State in the sixth round (205th overall), while Denmark (Valdosta State) was Chicago’s final selection of the draft (seventh round, 238th overall).

Shelley, Denmark, and the rest of the Bears’ cornerbacks that are behind Amukamara and Fuller seem to have their work cut out for them in the upcoming months. The position battles at kicker, running back, and wide receiver definitely deserves much attention. However, the fight amongst the cornerbacks for a spot on Chicago’s 2019 53-man roster should be considered as one of the most intriguing battles to keep an eye on as well.