Very similar to Newsome, Oregon cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. was also ranked in the top 100 by some experts out there — including Pro Football Focus. He was their no. 76 overall player, yet the Bears were able to get him at no. 228. If that isn’t mind-blowing value, I don’t know what is.
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One of the best things that can be said about Graham is the fact that he’s extremely scheme versatile. He can play outside or inside, zone or man. Now, if you ask the experts, Graham fits better in zone and probably much better in the slot.
Graham’s ball production over his time at Oregon is nothing short of impressive. In three seasons, he’s had eight interceptions. In just his last two seasons, Graham has come away with 28 passes defensed — read that again. In 27 games, Graham has averaged at least one pass defensed per game.
The Bears desperately need ball production at the cornerback position. One thing they have struggled with since 2018 is taking the ball away, and if Graham can come in and win the slot job, Chicago’s defense will see a bit more in that category.
Fun fact about Graham: He and Jaylon Johnson have known each other since high school, so joining forces now in the NFL is a pretty cool reality for those two.