Bears draft focus: CB

With veteran two-time Pro Bowler Charles Tillman back in the fold on just a one-year deal, the clock is ticking for the Chicago Bears to find a future starting cornerback.

Ideally, the Bears would draft a corner that is comparable in size to Tillman (6-foot-2, 198 pounds) in order to defend the taller wide receivers in the NFC North.

The general consensus is the Bears will probably steer clear of the smaller cornerbacks because 5-foot-8 Tim Jennings just signed a new four-year, $22.4 million contract. The team needs to find a replacement for Tillman.

There is a strong chance the Bears use one of their top-three picks next month on a cornerback, although it remains to be seen in what specific round they pull the trigger.

If Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert falls to the Bears at No. 14, he may be hard to pass up. The trio of Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard, Ohio State’s Bradley Roby and Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller are all candidates to be selected in the first round, and should all be on the board when the Bears pick.

Fuller reportedly made a recent pre-draft visit to the Bears.

In the event the Bears wait to take a cornerback until the second or third round, Lindenwood’s Pierre Desir could be an option. ESPNChicago.com reported that Bears director of college scouting Marty Barrett attended Desir’s personal pro day in March.

Desir (6-foot-1, 198 pounds) is a three-time Division II All-American with 25 career interceptions.

Utah’s Keith McGill, Florida State’s Lamarcus Joyner and Nebraska’s Stanley Jean-Baptiste have all been linked to the Bears in the second round in various mock drafts.

This projects to be a particularly deep draft a cornerback, so even if the Bears wait a round or two, they should still be in good shape.

Five projected targets:

1. Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

2. Darqueze Denard, Michigan State

3. Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech

4. Bradley Roby, Ohio State

5. Pierre Desir, Lindenwood

The next five: 6. Keith McGill, Utah; 7. Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska; 8. Jason Verrett, TCU; 9. Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State; 10. Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma.

Position grade: A