The Chicago Bears are coming off a disappointing 2021 season that ushered in the start of a new era with general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus. The hope is this Ryan-Matt duo will be able to guide the Bears back to relevance.
With the NFL draft fast approaching, Poles still has plenty of work to do with the current roster, which features some glaring holes at positions of need. Positions like wide receiver, offensive line and defensive back remain huge concerns.
Here at Bears Wire, we’re going position by position to break down where Chicago stands entering the 2022 NFL draft. Up next is cornerback, which was a position of weakness in 2021.
Who’s on the roster?
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The clear-cut leader of this position group is Jaylon Johnson, who is entering his third year in the league. Johnson has yet to become the elite cornerback fans envisioned when he was drafted in 2020, but his stock is still rising. The rest of the group has plenty of question marks. Thomas Graham Jr. showed flashes in limited playing time as a rookie, while Kindle Vildor struggled mightily after becoming a starter. The team recently signed former Baltimore Raven Tavon Young to likely be their starting nickel corner, while Duke Shelley, BoPete Keyes, Michael Joseph, and Lamar Jackson round out the rest of the depth players.
Who departed this offseason?
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The Bears only saw two cornerbacks depart this offseason, most notably Artie Burns. The former first-round pick was signed in 2020, but missed the entire season due to a torn ACL. He returned last season and saw limited starts but failed to produce. He signed this offseason with the Seattle Seahawks. Xavier Crawford was primarily a special teams player, but was thrust into action at certain points on defense. He struggled to make an impact, as well.
Positional need: High
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It’s fair to say the Bears cornerback position was the weak link of the defense last…