All the chatter this offseason surrounding the Chicago Bears center around them drafting an interior lineman. Tim Jernigan and Louis Nix are names that have consistently come up connected to Chicago. Well, let me make a case for something different-drafting cornerback Justin Gilbert.
I know that many fans are in love with Charles Tillman, and with good reason. I love what he has done for the team, but the key word in that sentence is DONE. He just turned 33, and has 11 years of mileage on him.
The Bears signed the younger corner, Tim Jennings, to a multi-year deal, and Emery has talked about getting younger and more athletic so the writing may be on the wall.
With many of the teams ahead of the Bears in need of offensive players, the top corners should be available.
Seeing the success the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks had with their big secondary, other teams will try to copy that. Gilbert fits that bill, measuring in at 6’0″ 1/2 and weighing 202 pounds.
Darqueze Dennard is considered the top corner in the draft, but I feel Justin Gilbert is the better fit.
Gilbert killed it in the NFL Scouting Combine. He ran a 4.37-40, and displayed excellent athleticism and ball catching skills.
Gilbert has excelled in both zone and man coverages. With Mel Tucker’s defense, the Bears are expected to play more man, and that is just fine with him.
Gilbert is a ball hawk. He had 13 career interceptions at Oklahoma State, 7 of them in 2013. He can cover the big receivers, which is now all the rage in the NFL.
Now that the Bears are moving on from the Devin Hester era, getting Gilbert would answer the question at returner. He had eight combined return touchdowns in his career. Gilbert can score you points on defense AND on special teams, and the Chicago Bears are known for having players of his ilk.
Reports are that the Bears will target Michael Bennett (keep on lobbying Martellus!) and Jairus Byrd in free agency, and it appears as if they will re-sign Henry Melton. Add Gilbert to the mix and you have what Emery said he is looking for-young, athletic playmakers.
I know a lot of things have to happen to make this scenario come to fruition, but if anyone can do it, it is Emery. If he can get it done, there may be some magic in Chicago.