The Bears don’t pick until the third round. So spending time on the top prospects in next year’s NFL draft is a useless endeavor. Instead, over the next three months of Saturdays, this space will focus on prospects further down the line.
Kendall Sheffield, CB, Ohio State
at (15) TCU
8:00 PM ET, ABC
PROS: Kendall Sheffield’s short area quickness yields a lot of reps showing a sudden close and the ability to play tight on the body of the receiver at the catch point. Has the mobility to be a high-end corner in over top zone coverage or mirroring route stems in the secondary. Has good habits as a head up tackler in space, will effectively use wingspan to wrap and roll and bring down bigger opponents. Has made several heady plays in coverage and does well to find the football late and contest. Active free hand to play through the hands of receivers at the catch point and produced a ton of ball production in book-end games of season (2 PBU vs. Indiana and 4 PBU vs. Southern Cal).
CONS: Needs to build up functional strength in a big way, gets beat up when trying to land blows and redirect receivers at the line. Can also struggle to pull off a blocker in the open field, preventing consistency stepping up into the edge to help seal the corner against the run. Was listed last season at 185 lbs but looks very lean framed. Footwork when shaded over top of route releases too often offers a misstep, needs to stay parallel to the line of scrimmage and avoid hinging too early, which opens gate for receivers to get a clean break. Despite good stickiness at the catch point has gotten out-muscled for the football by receivers on numerous occasions.
After watching Bears v. Packers Sunday night, my concentration has switched to corner. Many project Sheffield to fall into the second/third round. The Bears would need him to be there late Friday night to have any hope of bringing his speed and ball skills to town.