Chicago Bears wisely make this position change in OTAs
Thomas Graham fell to the Chicago Bears in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft for two seasons. The first is that after opting out of the pandemic season of 2020 it was hard to get a gauge on where he was. The other was that while Graham was an outside cornerback, his profile always suited him best in the slot.
Would he be an undersized outside threat, or would the team drafting him want to move into the slot where his quick feet and ability to read the quarterback and make tackles would suit him better?
The Chicago Bears kept him on the outside during his rookie season, and it worked well to an extent. Still, when the new regime added Kyler Gordon in the draft it was clear that Goron and Jaylon Johnson were the men on the outside. Would Graham be depth behind them, or would he slide into the slot and compete for snaps in a more open competition.
The answer is both. Still, while Graham has always played outside, the new development is seeing him move into the slot.
"“He comes up and meets with David Overstreet, who coaches our nickels mostly. He comes up and meets up with him every morning at 7 a.m. Very smart player. He is able to handle the workload outside and inside. He is intent on being good, and we love what we see from him so far.”"
The Bears like him playing inside and outside, but his path to the field is in the slot right now. Tavon Young has talent when he is healthy, but the team was able to sign him as a bargain because his health is a huge asterisk.
If Young went down, it would be Duke Shelley, and we know Chicago Bears fans cannot stomach another season of that. Therefore it makes a lot of sense to get Graham in there. Even if Graham did show enough to beat out Young it would give the Bears a younger and cheaper option moving forward.
When the Bears drafted Graham there was an expectation he would move to the slot. Still, Ryan Pace was thinking more about the present than the future and kept Graham where he was comfortable. Now, Graham has the offseason to improve on where he will be best utilized in the NFL.