UA-59049186-1 2020 Chicago Bears Preview: Cornerback - Good if it Goes

2020 Chicago Bears Preview: Cornerback

(Photo credit: Will Newton, Getty Images)

Kyle Fuller returns looking to build on a pair of Pro Bowl seasons, the first of which also earned him All-Pro honors. After tying for the league lead in interceptions in 2018, Fuller had only 3 a year ago, though his tackles sharply increased as the Bears moved to a man-heavy system under Chuck Pagano. Fuller’s skill set is better suited to a zone scheme where he can bait quarterbacks into throws and then jump on them, knowing he’s got help behind him. Even so, he was still one of the top corners in the league a year ago and the increased familiarity that year two in the system brings can only help.

Jaylon Johnson was drafted in the second round out of Utah in this year’s draft. Initially expected to compete for the job with Tre Roberson and Artie Burns, Johnson is the man now after Roberson broke his foot training in the off-season and Burns tore his ACL in camp. His college tape shows good ball skills and strong instincts. It will be a tough adjustment to the next level, but reports out of camp indicate that he’s handling it very well.

Buster Skrine was signed as a free agent a year ago to play the nickel after Bryce Callahan headed to Denver with former Bears defensive coordinator and current Broncos head coach Vic Fangio. Skrine proved to be a quality signing as he generally acquitted himself well in your author’s grading. This space predicts more of the same in 2020.

Duke Shelley was drafted in the sixth round of last year’s draft out of Kansas State. A look at Shelley’s tape makes one question how he could last until the sixth round. A look at the roster that lists him at 5’8 answers that question. Due to his lack of size, he’s probably limited to the nickel in the NFL. He’s got the skill set for the position – he possesses good ball skills and is strong in run support. Shelley saw only a few snaps in 2019; we’ll see what his role is in 2020. This space predicts a handful of snaps on the outside for Buster Skrine in an attempt to take some of the load off of the rookie Johnson. Should that happen, Shelley would be the prime candidate to step in at nickel.

Kindle Vildor comes to Chicago via the 5th round of this year’s draft. Many saw sleeper potential in Vildor and reports out of camp indicate that Pace may have found a gem. Watching Vildor’s tape from Georgia Southern, your author was impressed by his ball skills, but had some questions about his speed. The coaching staff thought that Vildor made Kevin Toliver expendable, so that’s a positive sign for his potential.

Sherrick McManis returns for his 11th season in the league. He is primarily a special teamer, but can step in anywhere in the secondary in a pinch.


Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

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