Predicting the Chicago Bears starting secondary post 2022 NFL Draft

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Chicago Bears, Kyler Gordon
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The Chicago Bears starting cornerbacks are likely to be these three

In today’s NFL, you cannot count on only two cornerbacks to play a majority of the defensive snaps. More often than not, defenses are now running some variation of a nickel package that pulls one of the defensive front seven off the field in preference of deploying an additional cornerback in the secondary. This is why teams need to ensure they have at least three starting-caliber corners should they have any hope of being a top-ranked defense.

Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus did as I projected prior to the team’s pick at 39 overall. After seeing the first round unfold, I predicted that the team should put cornerback at the top of their priority list. This had to do with not only the talent left on the board but also the drop-off in talent in the later rounds. Easily one of, if not the best prospect left on the draft list was cornerback, Kyler Gordon out of Washington. Personally, I liked Andrew Booth slightly more, but always said that Gordon was a better scheme fit for Eberflus — it appears Eberflus agrees.

With the addition of Gordon to the cornerback room, I would have to imagine that the starting secondary be comprised of Jaylon Johnson, Kyler Gordon and Tavon Young. Jaylon Johnson is easily the CB1 of the group, or also most likely the left corner. Kyler Gordon, although a rookie, should easily win out the second spot and play on the boundary on the right side. This leaves Tavon Young left to play the nickel corner spot. This spot is actually very crucial in Eberflus’ scheme and should Young stay healthy, he is a clear upgrade over 2021.

Behind these guys, in order of who I like talent-wise, are the rest of the corners who make up the backup secondary. Thomas Graham is my next favorite option and I expect to see him play some significant snaps. Kindle Vildor has shown flashes, although those flashes do not come often enough. Duke Shelley is never going to amount to be anything more than a backup at this time. That said, he’s likely next in my rankings due to his experience. This leaves Lamar Jackson, Greg Stroman and BoPete Keyes left to battle out the final roster spots.