Jan 3, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys cornerback Justin Gilbert (4) before the game against the Missouri Tigers in the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Missouri won 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft 2014: Chicago Bears eyeing Darqueze Dennard, Justin Gilbert in first-round

The Chicago Bears are at the combine in Indianapolis to try and find out if their scouting all year long has been right or wrong on the top prospects in the draft. Sitting at No. 14 overall, the Bears have some holes to fill on their roster but they may end up plugging a very popular hole on the team — cornerback.

It’s not a consensus pick for the Bears, but Patrick Finley from the Chicago Sun-Times notes that the team is high on top cornerback prospects Darqueze Dennard from Michigan State and Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State.

Members of the Bears’ brass traveled to scout Dennard during his senior season, sources told the Sun-Times. … The Bears are desperate for defensive playmakers — general manager Phil Emery says scoring on defense is what he values most — but have long put a premium on cornerback grit. It’s the identity of their defense.

The Bears look to be losing Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman this offseason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and replacing him could be a key offseason priority. Gilbert seems to be the favorite, as Finley points out he can return kicks and play a Devin Hester role as well.

Fans may not be high on the Bears using the no. 14 pick on a corner but hearing Gilbert compared to Richard Sherman, Devin Hester and Peabut Tillman will change a lot minds in the Windy City.

Tags: Chicago Bears NFL Draft 2014

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