Getting to Know the 2018 Chicago Bears: Cornerbacks
The Chicago Bears’ first training camp practice open to the public has come and gone. And with training camp underway and the team’s August 2 debut at the Hall of Fame Game around the corner, let’s take an early look at who’s on the team right now.
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The Starters: Kyle Fuller (69 tackles, 2 interceptions, 22 passes defended, 84.3 grade from Pro Football Focus), Prince Amukamara (48 tackles, 0 interceptions, 7 passes defended, 81.2), Bryce Callahan (25 tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 6 passes defended, 82.9).
The Reserves: Cre’von LeBlanc, Deiondre’ Hall, Michael Joseph, Kevin Toliver II, Jonathon Mincy, Sherrick McManis, John Franklin III, Rashard Fant, Marcus Cooper, Doran Grant
Potential Training Camp Star: Kevin Toliver II came away with a couple of early interceptions as he attempted to establish himself as worthy of a spot on the season-opening 53-man roster. Toliver has ideal size (6-2, 192) and has a notable prospect pedigree as a top high school prospect. Unfortunately for Toliver, he never proved to be *that guy* at LSU. That puts him in the super-sleeper category as he enters the NFL and has the Bears in a spot to reap the rewards if they can bring out his previously untapped potential.
We Really Like: The brewing competition bubbling among the reserves is worth keeping tabs on. Chicago has a solid top slot corner in Bryce Callahan, but Cre’von LeBlanc has proven to be a steady contributor when given opportunities. Deiondre’ Hall returns to his roots as a corner after a brief experiment at safety. Michael Joseph, Jonathon Mincy, and Rashard Fant are among the younger players looking to make a strong first impression and crack the rotation. Whoever emerges from this group will have won a battle royale to make the roster, while those who don’t make the cut could help create a competitive practice squad unit.
We Might Be Worried About: Is Prince Amukamara ever going to intercept another pass? He is certainly due for one. Or two. Amukamara is in the midst of quite an interception-less drought that dates back a few years, but he recently vowed to put together a 10-pick year in 2018. I guess this would be a good time to mention that Amukamara has seven interceptions in his 83-game career, but more power to him if he can haul in 10 this year.
2018 Forecast: The Bears’ collection of cornerbacks has something for all training camp onlookers. Veteran leadership from Amukamara, a pair of established young starters in Fuller and Callahan, some hungry undrafted free agents, and even someone who is looking to make amends after a poor 2017. This group is talented and has potential to reach new heights under Vic Fangio’s direction.