The last day of the NFL combine is here. We learned about most of the players this weekend, but we still have to see what the defensive backs got. Here are a few that I will be specifically looking at.
Minkah Fitzpatrick Alabama
Fitzpatrick is what I like to call a swiss army knife type of a player. If you ask me what position he plays, I would say defensive back. If you asked me what specific position, I would repeat defensive back. He can play so many different spots, that most teams in the NFL could plug him somewhere in their starting lineup. Wheather you need him as outside cornerback, nickel, or safety, he can do it all for you. He has made an impact every year at Alabama, which is rare for how many great players that they have.
I think Vic Fangio would be ecstatic to have a guy like Fitzpatrick. Fangio could probably place Fitzpatrick anywhere that he feels we don’t have talent at, plus if there is an injury, we could easily transition him. Pace seems to like these moldable guys that he can let his coaches do what they want with. He is a guy that loves to just ball out and dominate the field. He could be a very intriguing prospect to look at if he falls to the eighth pick, and I could see Pace pouncing on it.
Josh Jackson Iowa
People were not looking at Josh Jackson as a draft prospect at the beginning of this season, but at this point, he may be the first true cornerback selected in the draft. He just absolutely exploded this season He is an absolute ballhawk, finishing with eight interceptions, which led the NCAA. The first chance I got to watch him was vs. Wisconsin, and he definitely left me feeling impressed, as he picked off two passes and brought them to the house. I was surrounded by Wisconsin fans at the time who all hated him at that point, but I fell in love.
I could easily see Chicago picking up Jackson depending on how free agency goes. If we do not bring back Kyle Fuller especially, we may need to draft this kid. The worry is that he is a one year wonder, but with the possible need, I think he is our best option.
Denzel Ward Ohio State
If you’re looking for an athlete at cornerback, then Denzel Ward is your guy. He does a great job of keeping the wide receiver against him from making the catch, as it is very hard to get away from him. He has the elite level footwork and uses that to his advantage at all times. He can read the wide receiver really well when he starts and his great footwork will allow him to follow the wide receiver he is covering.
Ward is probably going to put together a fantastic performance at the NFL Combine, which could lead to Chicago investing in him with the eighth pick. I could see Chicago going after him if we have the shot.
Levi Wallace Alabama
The forgotten cornerback at Alabama, he could be a steal late in the draft, He was a walk-on at Alabama, and with all the top recruits being brought in, he found his way to the field, and did very well, He ended up leading the SEC in passes defended, by stopping 15 passes this season. He is not the athletic freak you may be looking for, but he is just a very solid cornerback that will do his job.
Chicago could always use another cornerback to join the team, and I think he would be the perfect guy to add. I don’t think he is going to wow us at the combine, but he will do well enough to earn himself a draft spot. I think Vic Fangio would really enjoy a guy with his work ethic, that does a great job defending passes.
Nick Petrusevski: This kid is going to fall in the draft and whoever drafts Wallace is going to get a special player.
Donte Jackson LSU
If you are looking for an entertaining prospect to watch Monday, it is Donte Jackson. I think we will see Donte Jackson end up with one of the fastest 40 times this year, possibly even the best over his teammate D.J. Chark. Besides his performance, I really like him as a prospect. Even though he is undersized, his elite athleticism translates well to the field.
Chicago didn’t get the LSU defensive back that many were clamoring for last year in Jamal Adams (I’m Glad), so why not get an LSU defensive back now? I really enjoy his play and he could help this defense in a lot of ways. His draft stock could climb or fall hard depending on if he has a good or bad combine, as he should walk in and be one of the best at this combine.