Wherever Kindle Vildor Lines Up Bears See Possibilities
When the Bears saw cornerback Kindle Vildor at his best, they saw someone even the best team in college football had trouble competing against.
They're hoping to see it again as he tries to compete at cornerback when camp begins. In 2018 Vildor made an interception and two passes defensed facing Clemson, and it was that game which really caught the attention of Bears personnel and earned him a selection in the fifth round this year. His team lost 38-7 and the pick came off Kelly Bryant and not Trevor Lawrence, but it all served a purpose.
"And I think back in 2018 Clemson game I remember our scouts talking about him," GM Ryan Pace said. "He kind of showed up in that game, back in 2018. But just a consistent production throughout his college career. Another guy that went to the Senior Bowl and played well. I know he had a pick the the first practice. He had another interception in the game.
"So he's got high-end ball skills."
At Georgia Southern, he caught the attention of Pro Football Focus as well and was named top defender in the Sun-Belt Conference in 2018. He recorded a 49.6 passer rating against when targeted and made four interceptions without a penalty in his final year. It earned him a 90.4 passer rating.
Vildor also showed up big at the combine with a 4.44-second 40 and a 39 1/2-inch vertical leap. At 5-foot-10, he doesn't rate a taller cornerback but has the athletic ability to play outside as well as quickness to play slot.
"He can play inside, he can play outside," Pace said. "We stress confidence when we talk about the corner position and he definitely has that confidence and that playing demeanor that we look for.
"A skill set that also translates well to special teams which is going to be important especially in the early part of his development."
The only negatives to Vildor might be the schedule he faced in college, which wasn't strong other than the occasional early season non-conference football power.
He also had an ankle injury last year but it's in his past. It led to Vildor slipping to a 65.1 PFF grade his final year.
The Bears will apparently try him at both slot corner and outside cornerback and see if he can compete at either.
The backup slot position would seem a particularly easy target considering backup Duke Shelley made the roster last year without really establishing himself.
The Bears have some other options as a slot understudy to Buster Skrine, like possibly CFL import Tre Roberson, but Vildor would seem well fitted for that spot.
Kindle Vildor at a Glance
Georgia Southern CB
Key Numbers: He made nine interceptions and a forced fumble at Georgia Southern.
Roster Chances: 4 on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the most.
2020 Projection: 11 games played, 1 INT, 3 passes defensed.
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