A Cornerback for Every Bears Round

The need for a cornerback or even two is great but the Bears can find players at these positions about every point in the draft.
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Since defensive coordinator Vic Fangio left the Bears to coach the Denver Broncos, there have been 32 regular-season games played.

This amounts to 96 starts by players the Bears lined up at the three cornerback positions, counting the slot defensive back because he is on the field more than half the defensive snaps.

There have been only four interceptions made by those players in that period, and the guy who made them was allowed to leave in free agency. That's Kyle Fuller.

Not one other Bears cornerback who started a game for them the last two seasons made an interception.

Even if they had Fuller back, they'd be looking at a great need to pick up the interception pace from their cornerbacks.

Without him, and with the team needing to depend on Desmond Trufant, Duke Shelley and Kindle Vildor, this is a definite position of high need in the draft. They could look at any point to draft one. Here are the most likely candidates at various points in the draft.

First Round, No. 20

Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

The pick should be Farley if they Bears are fortunate enough to take him. He has tremendously high upside as someone who has played this position only a couple of years. He didn't play last year and has had the discectomy but has been given a clean bill of health. There's symmetry in replacing a Virginia Tech standout (Kyle Fuller) with another. He's been very good and has immense room for improvement. And at 6-foot-2, 207 pounds, he is ideal cornerback size. Northwestern's Greg Newsome is a bit shorter but adept and a possibility of they can't get Farley, but they should also weigh other needs if Farley goes. Farley is rated higher than Newsome by NFL Draft Bible. Although Pro Football Focus initially graded Farley lower than Newsome, after the news about his recovery came out they mock-drafted him to go before Newsome. Mel Kiper Jr. has Farley rated the No. 1 cornerback in the draft ahead of even Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn, who should both be gone by 17 or 18.

Second Round, No. 52

Eric Stokes, Georgia

The next-best option behind Newsome would be Asante Samuel Jr., but if he doesn't sneak up into Round 1 it would be difficult for him to slide past some of the cornerback-needy teams early in Round 2 like the Jets. Stokes ran the 40-yard dash in 4.29 seconds at a pro day and has tremendous recovery speed. He's not just a fast guy, but made plays on the ball last year with four interceptions. He had 22 pass defenses in his career. Ryan Pace loves his Georgia players, anyway — Leonard Floyd, Roquan Smith, Riley Ridley, Javon Wims. The problem the Bears face is if they ignore cornerback in Round 1, there is a large enough drop off in talent at the position and they may need to turn in Round 3 to slot cornerback instead of outside cornerback if they want to address the position.

Third Round, No. 83

Paulson Adebo, Stanford

This should be the pick if Syracuse's Ifeatu Melifonwu already is gone, and that's likely to happen by the 74th or 75th pick. The only reason Adebo would still be there by No. 83 is if too many teams hold his opt-out against him. However, he had two full starting seasons before opting out so it might not happen. Adebo ran in 4.4s for his 40 time but his bigger thing is production. In 2018 and 2019 he had eight total interceptions and 29 pass break-ups. He tracks the ball and gets his hands on about everything, but a need to be better in run support separates him from the top six or seven cornerbacks.

Fifth Round, No. 164

Tay Gowan, Central Florida

He caught some eyes while playing alongside Aaron Robinson but at 6-2, 185, he'd be ideal size if he added a little weight. Very inexperienced with just 13 games played before opting out last year, he started out at Miami, Ohio before transferring. Made two interceptions and eight pass defenses in his only full season.

Sixth Round or Later

Darren Hall, San Diego State

The Bears had a virtual visit with this 5-foot-11 defensive back, according to Bear Report. He played in a 3-3-5 defense and can be either a safety, a slot or an outside cornerback. The Bears likely would use him in the slot. He was very effective making plays on the ball in college with six interceptions but has a tendency to bite on fakes and that can't be good on the slot.

Tre Brown, Oklahoma

A pesky, smaller slot cornerback at 5-10, 186, he had a real knack for the slot and has four interceptions to go with 31 passes broken up in four years. He needed a fast 40 time to be considered draftable and turned in a 4.4.

Avery Williams, Boise State

A slot cornerback type with four interceptions and 22 passes defended, but someone who will help the team in far more ways than defending passes. He is a special teams coordinator's dream with five blocked kicks or punts. He also averaged 27.4 yards on 38 kick returns and returned 82 punts for an 11.6-yard average.

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