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

  • Dr. Johnny Nacho

    I’m not a big fan of a defensive or offensive starter being your return guy. Too many hits and over the course of the season something has to give. The Bears need to have a serious make or break meeting w/ Hester on whether or not he wants to retire a Chicago Bear. He’s made a a descent amount of coin w/ his previous contract when Lovie and the brass pulled the wool over our eyes w/ Hester’s supposed number one receiving skills. Take the deal and make more money off the field w/ Chicago endorsements when you’re finally holding the record by yourself.

  • John Vassar

    Drafting CB at 14 all depends what happens in getting a DL during the UFA season. If that does not meet expectations then a CB is in the 3rd for taking a S in the 2nd becomes necessary. They have Ford and Chris Williams as returners, so not concerned about Hester leaving or having Gilbert in that spot. Again, nothing can be decided until we see the smoke clear after March 11th. http://beardownnation.blogspot.ca/

  • Jeremiah Collins

    Watching the combine, i do believe that Gilbert would be the pick. The problem is that he won’t be available. Dennard looks like he will be a day two pick, because being a press corner is one thing, but what happens when he gets beat. Peanut suffered thru that for years. Phillip Gaines, Keith McGill, Dontae Johnson, or Pierre Desir will be available day two and three with each of them looking fluid in their drills. Safety is our top priority. Look for us to trade down in this rich draft class.

  • Goodshepherd Americanbullies

    Yea it’s practically futile to try & determine who we gonna pick until after we see wich holes get filled in UFA. Our whole defense is pretty much a huge hole, LOL!! Sounds bad but it is wut it is

  • Robert Hayes

    THE BACK END NEVER WORKS WITH OUT THE FRONT END, OPEN YOUR EYES, AII THOSE TURNOVERS ONLY POSSIBLE BECAUSE THE DEFENSE LINE HAD PRESSURE AND CONTROL.Go and once again and blow apick, the pick need to be a no brainner defense line, fix the front and the rest will fall in PLACE.