In a decision that can only be described as unexpected, junior cornerback Steve Williams announced that he would not be returning for his final season in Berkeley, opting instead to join teammate Keenan Allen in declaring for the 2013 NFL draft.
Williams saw his draft stock rise after a strong 2012, in which he lead the team in pass breakups with 10, and tied for the team lead in interceptions with 3, earning All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention for his performance.
With Marc Anthony's graduation and Williams' departure, the Bears will return neither of their starting cornerbacks for the 2013 season. While Williams’ solid play will be missed, the Bears do have candidates to replace him on the roster. The favorites to replace Anthony and Williams appear to be Kameron Jackson and Stefan McClure, who will be returning from an ACL injury that caused him to miss all of 2012. The Bears will also be bringing in three other defensive backs in the ’13 class, any of whom could make an immediate push to see the field.
How do you feel about the loss of Steve Williams? Who do you expect to challenge for the playing time created in his departure, particularly at the slot? Sound off below, readers.