Chicago Bears: Duke Shelley bolsters cornerback depth

(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears used one of their sixth-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft to select speedy Kansas State CB Duke Shelley.

The Chicago Bears went into the 2019 NFL Draft with fewer picks than most teams because of a blockbuster offseason trade the team made to acquire linebacker Khalil Mack.

With no picks until the third round, Bears GM Ryan Pace couldn’t wait until pick 87 and traded up in the third round to select Iowa State running back David Montgomery.

As a result of that trade up, the Bears gave up a fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft for a sixth from the New England Patriots. While the Bears went into this draft needing picks, the front office couldn’t pass up a move to grab a guy they had high on their draft board.

With no fifth-round pick, the Bears waited until pick 205 to select cornerback Duke Shelley out of Kansas State.

You should read my colleague Ryan Sikes’ piece from earlier today to get the lowdown on Shelley’s history and how he could help this team. It’s a good look at a rather unknown player.

I’ll admit, I didn’t know much about Shelley before the draft. I did hear a Big-12 related joke that said his accomplishment of being the top-rated coverage corner in the conference by PFF didn’t mean much because of the Big 12’s laughable defenses.

However, Shelley did log an impressive 40-yard dash time at K-State’s pro day at an unofficial 4.46 seconds. If nothing else, he’s a speedy guy who may be able to help on special teams right away.

It’s incredibly difficult to instantly judge these late-round selections. Pace hasn’t always been in the good graces of Bears fans, but at this point, I think the fanbase trusts him enough with third-day picks of unknown players.

So for now, we’ll have to trust that Pace sees this guy as someone who could help the team in the future. With his size and his speed, Shelley would work best as a nickel corner in my opinion.

It seems as if the Bears are targeting Shelley to help them at that position as well after letting slot corner Bryce Callahan walk as a free agent after last season.

Related Story. Chicago Bears select Duke Shelley in the sixth-round. light

The team did sign nickel corner Buster Skrine this offseason, but that doesn’t mean that Shelley won’t get a chance to impress coaches in Bourbonnais when he tries his hand at NFL pass coverage.

The jury may still be out on Shelley, but I say we should trust Pace with this pick and hope that he can at least contribute on special teams right away. Solid pick by the Bears in the sixth round.