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NFL Draft: Chicago Bears select Kansas State CB Duke Shelley in the sixth round

Don’t look now, but 3⁄4 of the 2017 Wildcat secondary could be in the NFL soon.

An unexpected selection, indeed.
An unexpected selection, indeed.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Well, surprise, surprise.

While everyone was busy waiting to hear Alex Barnes get his name called, the Chicago Bears threw a curveball.

With the 205th overall pick, the 33rd in the sixth round, the Bears spent a compensatory pick on Kansas State Wildcats cornerback Duke Shelley.

Shelley was not invited to the 2019 NFL Draft Combine, but put in a very good day of work at K-State’s pro day back in March to get himself on the radar. At only 5’9” and 180, Shelley’s size may be a negative, and missing the final half of the 2018 season due to injury didn’t help his stock. But his coverage skills are elite — so much that even the pass-happy Big 12 made a point of simply avoiding him whenever possible over the last two seasons.

Shelley, who hails from Tucker, Ga., tallied seven interceptions as a Wildcat, after bulling his way into the starting lineup midway through his true freshman season. In the Bill Snyder system, that in and of itself was noteworthy.

Where Shelley fits with the Bears may be an open question, as they currently have Prince Amukamara, Kyle Fuller, and Buster Skrine on the roster. But at least he’ll have a friendly face when camp opens, as the starting center in Chicago is former Wildcat Cody Whitehair.