For the second straight week, the Chicago Bears have a preseason standout who caught the eyes of Pro Football Focus’ team of analytic insiders. But unlike last week, it wasn’t the punter.
Clifton Duck played his way onto PFF’s Preseason Week 2 Team of the Week with an 87.7 overall grade in 37 defensive snaps. It was the second-best grade among NFL corners last week, with only Isaac Yiadom (Broncos) topping Duck with a 92.5 overall grade. Duck was so good last week, his grade was better than that of Lions Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay, whose 87.5 grade in 17 snaps is nothing to sneeze at in limited action. But still … Duck rocks!
Duck overcame a night that started with two missed tackles by allowing just one 8-yard reception in coverage and allowing a minuscule 2.8 passer rating on throws into his coverage. Of course, that interception was all the rage last week as the lone Bears highlight from that contest.
If Duck is going to be a Bear, he’ll have rough waters to wade through. Because in addition to being an undrafted free agent rookie who played his college ball at Appalachian State, Chicago’s cornerbacks room is quite crowded. Duck must fend off the likes of John Franklin III, Kevin Toliver II, and Michael Joseph if he is to have a shot to crack the 53-man roster. But if Duck continues to make plays in games like he did throughout training camp, the next call he’ll receive is one that tells him he has made the cut.