5 things to know about new Bears CB Thomas Graham Jr.

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Ryan Fedrau
·3 min read
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The Chicago Bears potentially found their replacement for Kyle Fuller by drafting cornererack Thomas Graham Jr. in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft.

Graham will likely fill the role of Jaylon Johnson and Johnson will take the role of Fuller. This pick was important, as Chicago needed to add another defensive back to their team.

Here are five things to know about the Bears’ newest selection:

Graham was ranked at the 76th-best prospect by PFF

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Graham Jr., according to PFF, was the 76th-best prospect in the 2021 NFL draft. He fell all the way to the 6th-round, right in the Bears' lap. For one way or another, his stock fell this past weekend, but he lands in a great spot. https://twitter.com/PFF_Bears/status/1388609955423526916 Graham will find himself in great company as the Bears have solid defensive starters. Losing Kyle Fuller was the team's biggest loss during the offseason, but Graham could be good enough to fill the second cornerback role, giving Jaylon Johnson Fuller's old spot. Overall, Ryan Pace has found some great mid to late-round gems on the defensive side of the ball over the years. Fans and experts alike expect the same for Graham.

Graham opted out of the 2020 season

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Graham Jr. opting out of the 2020 college season is the reason why his stock fell. He was considered to be a Day 2 pick, maybe early Day 3 (fourth-round), but fell to the sixth round. Even though he didn't play, he still worked hard during the offseason and improved a lot as a player. Graham is considered to be an athletic corner, with solid agility and is very quick. There are questions about how well Graham tackles, but he is willing to tackle players in the run game. He plays with good technique in the passing game, which lacks up for him not having top-end speed. Scouts have said Graham has excellent timing and ball skills, which should transfer into success in the NFL.

Graham has been compared to Marcus Peters

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Scouts and draft analysts have compared Thomas Graham Jr. to Ravens' CB Marcus Peters. Peters is a two-time first-team All-Pro CB, along with three Pro Bowl appearances. This is a solid comparison for Graham. He's being compared to a first-round talent who has turned into a star in the NFL. In college, Graham had 8 interceptions, 1 pick-six, 143 solo tackles (183 total), 1 forced fumble, 1 sack, and 10.5 tackles for a loss. https://twitter.com/Pac12Network/status/1387164658516185092 In his three seasons as a starter, he was top 4 in the Pac-12 for passes defended each season.

Graham has a relationship with Jaylon Johnson that goes back to high school

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Once competitors in the Fresno area, now teammates, Thomas Graham Jr., and Jaylon Johnson went to football camps together in high school. The two will now be partners on defense, both holding down one side of the field at some point. https://twitter.com/AdamHoge/status/1388633381060157443

Graham is media friendly

Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Part of playing for a Chicago sports team is playing in front of a rough media. It looks like Thomas Graham Jr. is ready for that challenge, as he says he loves talking to the media. https://twitter.com/markgrotesports/status/1388632101378039808 Those feelings might change depending on how well the team does, but the Bears' rookie is winning over the Bears' media quickly. https://twitter.com/AdamHoge/status/1388631987225772035

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