Chicago Bears Draft: Reasoning behind every 2019 draft pick

Chicago Bears (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Duke Shelley
Chicago Bears (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Video: Duke Shelley Pro Day interview. Duke Shelley. 6. player. 57. College Stats. CB. Kansas St.

One of the biggest topics of conversation going into the offseason was what the Bears would do with nickel corner Bryce Callahan. When healthy, Callahan is one of the best slot cornerbacks in all of the NFL. But, at the same time, Pace didn’t want to pay him premium money.

Pace did, however, go out and sign former New York Jets slot corner Buster Skrine to a deal that averaged out to about $5 million per year — that’s not chump change, by any means.

While Skrine is an aggressive, nasty slot corner, the Bears want a backup plan. Right now, Sherrick McManis is technically the backup slot behind Skrine. McManis played relatively well in the absence of Callahan last season, but he’s 31 years old and will be a free agent next spring.

Related Story. Bears: Pros and cons of Duke Shelley pick. light

Duke Shelley is a 5-foot-9 corner coming out of Kansas State, and Pace mentioned in his post-draft press conference that he will play in the slot. You knew going into the draft that the Bears were after depth at whichever position presented the best value. To Pace, it was Shelley in the sixth round.

You can never have enough competition on a roster, even at a backup position. That second-string slot corner is one injury away from taking the big state, just as McManis did last year. The Bears want as much competition at that position as possible, and that’s why they grabbed Shelley.