The Chicago Bears need someone to play CB2. In the 2022 NFL Draft, Roger McCreary is the tough player that the team covets.
The Chicago Bears have a ton of needs as they head into the draft in a few weeks. While many people pay their attention to the offensive line or to the wide receiver spot, cornerback is another very important spot that needs attention as well.
The Bears had trouble at cornerback after unceremoniously cutting former All-Pro cornerback Kyle Fuller. Jaylon Johnson took over as CB1 and did a capable job. The problem was that there wasn’t anyone behind him who could keep opposing quarterbacks honest. They avoided Johnson and that gave him fewer opportunities to make big plays.
The cornerback problems were masked a bit by the Bears’ pass rush. They were among the leaders in sacks and that helped the cornerbacks. It didn’t cover up the number of big plays the unit gave up, however. If the pass rush wasn’t getting to the quarterback, you could count on the cornerbacks giving up a big play that turned the game around.
The Chicago Bears now need a player who could play on the outside who can allow Johnson to get the opportunities to make plays. Slot corner might be in a good position with Thomas Graham Jr and Kindle Vildor. Graham did well when he played as a rookie. While Vildor struggled, that was mostly due to him playing on the outside. He showed he wasn’t an outside cornerback. When he played in the slot in his rookie season in 2020, he did well. Hopefully the same happens when he returns there in 2022.
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McCreary has some limitations. He measures just 5-foot-11. Also, he has about 29-inch arms. He makes up for that, though, by playing tough and with a chip on his shoulder.
McCreary likes to press the receiver right off the snap. He has the strength to knock him off his route. While tall receivers have an advantage when they leap, trying to create separation against McCreary will be very difficult. He will frustrate and irritate a lot of receivers with his play. That is something Poles loves.
McCreary does a good job of raking the receiver’s hands to make the catch more difficult. Additionally, when making tackles he faces the receiver and drives through the target.
McCreary’s length will cause him problems at the higher level. Tall receivers will look to feast on his height and lack of arm length. He tries to make up for that with his aggressive play.
Sometimes you can just intimidate a receiver despite being physically smaller. That is what McCreary counts on. His tough, aggressive attitude will make a lot of receivers think twice about him.
McCreary’s aggressive play and keeping receivers from gaining separation bodes well for Johnson. Quarterbacks will have to throw more at Johnson. As a result, he’ll have more chances to make big plays. As a result, the Bears defense gets better.
McCreary might not be the best prospect in the 2022 NFL draft. However, he’ll have a nice career hounding opposing wide receivers and irritating them. He’ll be the type of player opponents hate but wish to have as a teammate.
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