What does the Chicago Bears cornerback room look like heading into the down period of 2019?
With the NFL Draft in the rearview mirror brings the down period of the NFL season. Not much news is going to happen, and player movement becomes very minimal. The Chicago Bears are a team that feels they have a roster which can compete with the best in the NFL and that means we should expect minimal player movement at this point in the offseason.
While not impactful, the team did make two moves in the draft to upgrade the cornerback room, which shows that they are certainly paying attention to the progression of things. Where do the draft picks stand, and how does the depth chart currently look?
The Bears played sides last season and despite a new defensive coordinator will likely play sides again in 2019. Still, coming off of an All-Pro season most would agree that Fuller is the top cornerback.
Amukamara being number two is no slight, but rather a praise of what Fuller has become. There are not many teams that can throw out a duo as impactful as Fuller and Prince Amukamara.
To the surprise of many, Buster Skrine was signed before Bryce Callahan. The Bears were not going to pony up for Callahan and immediately found a cheaper replacement, ensuring the market was not dried up by the time they missed on Callahan. Skrine struggled last season but is with a much better pass. rush which could help him in the back end.
If one of the outside cornerbacks get hurt Skrine will stay in the slot. It will be Toliver who slots into one of the top two spots instead. Toliver was a UDFA who many teams wanted and may end up being another UDFA gem from Ryan Pace if his trajectory continues to ascend.
McManis is hanging onto the roster with his special teams value. Losses to players such as Josh Bellamy and Benny Cunningham open up spots for special teams studs, and McManis has that locked up.
McManis will be tough to knock off on special teams, but what about as the backup slot corner? Toliver is the backup on the outside, but the rookie sixth-round pick should. push McManis. for defensive depth. Shelley has the potential to be a true gem in round six.
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The Bears have a loaded cornerback room, which makes their decision on Stephen Denmark interesting. The former wide receiver is too raw to see an NFL field, but would another team poach him off of the Bears practice squad?
Mincy was with a similarly deep group of cornerbacks and managed to stay on the practice squad. The former CFL cornerback will hope to show his growth in an NFL environment and show the Bears that they did not need to draft so many corners.
Duck is an. intriguing slot option who signed in Chicago as a UDFA. He will have to beat out Duke Shelley, who was drafted before him, but a real camp battle to watch may be Mincy vs Duck for a practice squad spot.
Joseph was a small school UDFA who made the practice squad last season. The competition is stacking up and it would be tough for him to make the same impression this year.
Franklin and Joseph may be the two competing for one last practice squad spot.
Dotson is undersized and was brought in after players such as Shelley and Duck. Franklin and Joseph will be real competition for Dotson.