New mock draft has Bears finding Kyle Fuller’s replacement in first round

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Alyssa Barbieri
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The Chicago Bears have no shortage of needs heading into the 2021 NFL draft — from cornerback to wide receiver to offensive tackle to quarterback. And with a first-round pick for the first time in three years, the Bears are poised to address one of those needs in a big way immediately.

In Daniel Jeremiah’s new mock draft, he has Chicago drafting Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome with the 20th overall pick. Jeremiah dubbed him a “plug-and-play guy” who would be a good replacement for Kyle Fuller.

Here’s what The Draft Network had to say about Newsome:

Newsome II has showcased strong ball skills and length to pair with high-end levels of flexibility and functional athleticism—that’s a blend that is going to get Newsome II drafted sooner rather than later.

Newsome II is instinctual and offers suddenness in split decisions in coverage; frequently driving to the target and attacking the football in the air. He brings the right kind of attitude to perimeter play both in collision routes and in run support and tackling at the line of scrimmage, but his aggressive angles will need a little work to ensure he’s secured tackles at the catch point before attempting to attack the football and undercut throws.

The concern with Newsome II is his durability, as he didn’t play a full season of college football. Newsome II missed nine games with an ankle injury as a freshman, four games with an undisclosed injury as a sophomore and sustained a groin injury in the Big 10 championship last season.

But injury concerns aren’t necessarily a make-or-break for the Bears, who took a chance on cornerback Jaylon Johnson last year after another shoulder surgery. The gamble paid off for Chicago, where Johnson shined in his rookie season before suffering a shoulder injury.

Considering the Bears are in need of another cornerback after they released Fuller to free up salary cap space, Newsome II would be a good option come pick 20.

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