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Making The Case: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

| April 20th, 2017

The Bears could be looking the ever-elusive shutdown corner in the face if Marshon Lattimore is still available when they pick.

If you believe Adam Schefter (and you should) the Bears tried to trade up to get Jalen Ramsey last year. Then they went after Josh Norman prior to last season and Stephon Gilmore this offseason. They went 0/3.

Lattimore could be the best of the bunch.

Most consider Lattimore to be at least where Ramsey was; among the best cornerback prospects to come into the league in recent history. But for all his strengths, ball skills were a huge question with Ramsey. Lattimore intercepted four passes as a redshirt sophomore in his only full season as a starter for OSU. He’s got height, length and is a phenomenal athlete.

But Can He Stay On The Field?

Lattimore’s hamstrings have been a problem, causing him to miss over a full season.

Many were quick to downgrade Jonathan Allen because his shoulders might bother him in 20 years but he never missed time. Lattimore had to red shirt because of his hammies, then missed most of his next season. He made it through the season last year, but then had it flare up again at the combine.

Does he not know how to take care of his body? Will it bother him throughout his career? The Bears have to answer these questions but, let’s face it, they’ll probably be guessing.

There’s also the issue of importance of the position. Vic Fangio had great defenses in San Francisco with average cornerbacks. Do they really need to spend a premium asset on the position?

Overview

If the hamstrings check out, Lattimore has to be one of the finalists for the pick.

If you look at the Bears roster, cornerback might be their weakest position outside of quarterback. Projected starters Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper have both been inconsistent pros. Amukamara has struggled with injuries and Cooper hasn’t been able to find the field. Kyle Fuller may be a long shot to make the team. Bryce Callahan has potential, but can’t stay healthy. Deiondre’ Hall is moving to safety. Outside of that, there are guys like De’Vante Bausby, Johnthan Banks and Cre’Von LeBlanc, who don’t belong on NFL rosters.

The next issue is that they’re in a division with Aaron Rodgers and the best way to beat Rodgers is to take his receivers away. We saw how human Rodgers was when he didn’t have Jordy Nelson. Adding a top-tier cornerback would allow the Bears to take his favorite receiver away every week. Their pass rush is already good enough to contend; they need some guys who can cover.

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