5 underrated Chicago Bears who could make a difference in 2022

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Chicago Bears, Thomas Graham
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Chicago Bears Player No. 1: Thomas Graham Jr., CB

The takeaways from Thomas Graham’s rookie season are pretty straightforward. He didn’t play very much, but when he did, he played well. The question that remains is whether Graham’s limited usage was a product of poor performance in practice or Nagy’s staff’s inability to evaluate talent. The truth is we won’t know the answer to that question until Graham gets more reps.

Jaylon Johnson is the clear-cut No.1 corner on the roster, and it is assumed that second-round selection Kyler Gordon will be the team’s other outside corner. After that, the cornerback room is a bit of a mystery. It’s hard to see Kindle Vildor being in the regular rotation after how he performed in 2021, but he did technically beat out Graham last preseason. The same thing can be said for Duke Shelley.

Many scouts speculated that Graham was best suited for the slot position at the pro level. He performed very well as an outside corner at Oregon, but his small stature and struggles in press coverage make him an ideal fit for the inside. Luckily for him, barring injury, the Bears won’t need to use him on the outside.

At the end of the day, Graham is still a pretty big question mark. After opting out of his senior year at Oregon due to COVID-19 and hardly playing in 2021, Graham hasn’t gotten consistent playing time since 2019. But whenever he’s been on the field, he’s made a positive impact, and that goes for his limited time on the field in 2021.