2021 NFL Draft Analysis: Bears select Thomas Graham, Jr. with 228th pick

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Adam Hoge
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What the Bears get in Thomas Graham, Jr. originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Bears drafted Oregon cornerback Thomas Graham, Jr. with the 228th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He is the first defensive player the Bears drafted in 2021 after using their first five picks on offense.

At Oregon he had 143 career tackles, eight interceptions, 32 pass deflections and a touchdown. Graham opted out of the 2020 season but he still participated in the 2021 Senior Bowl.

Graham turned heads during practices at the Senior Bowl.

Strengths: Experienced with 39 straight starts before opting out of the 2020 season. Good ball skills with the ability to attack the ball in the air (40 passes defended and eight interceptions in three seasons). Experience in both man and zone coverages. 

Weaknesses: Doesn’t have top-end athletic traits and speed might be an issue at the next level. 

What it means: The Bears have an obvious need at slot corner and it will be interesting to see if the Bears believe Graham can make the move inside. He primarily played outside at Oregon. Many thought he would go much earlier so this seems like good value with the last pick in the sixth round.

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