Chicago Bears Draft: Post-combine defensive back prospect rankings
Ranking the defensive back prospects of the 2023 NFL Draft
1. Devon Witherspoon, CB - Illinois
The only thing stopping some people from putting Witherspoon as the top cornerback is that Gonzalez is big. The Chicago Bears could add another homegrown talent to the roster in Witherspoon and have a solid starting group of Jaylon Johnson and him on the outside, with Kyler Gordon holding down the inside. Witherspoon led all of college in man coverage. That doesn't mean he can't play zone or tackle. He does that at a high rate as well.
2. Christian Gonzalez, CB - Oregon
Gonzalez is my number two corner because he struggles to play zone. Let me rephrase that. If a part of his game isn't perfect, it would be his zone coverage technique. Gonzalez is rangy and long and can come downhill in a hurry. Sometimes being long makes the back peddle transition awkward. I have a lot of (good) Prince Amukamara vibes from Gonzalez. He will beat up receivers (in a good way) once he finds his footing in the NFL.
3. Emmanuel Forbes, CB - Mississippi State
If the Chicago Bears end up with Forbes at some point, I will jump for joy. I would move him to number two, but I can't with his frame. While on the topic of his structure, Forbes is too skinny. But man, he is the definition of a cornerback. Forbes has 13 interceptions in three years. He went from a baiting cornerback who played high-risk, high-reward coverage to a lockdown that still creates turnovers.
I am still determining when he will be available during the draft, but having a ball-hawk matched with this defensive backfield would create the potential of one of the better turnover-creating teams in the NFL... if he hits his ceiling.