The cornerback position is a bit of a question mark this offseason after Antonio Cromartie left in free agency to sign with the New York Jets. But the team, while it might add a corner in the draft, hasn't publicly said it is a big need.
They do have some options at the position. Patrick Peterson is a lock. After that, there are three players for two positions, in terms of playing time. There is 2013 starter Jerraud Powers, who played extensively in the slot last season, there is special teams ace Justin Bethel and there is safety Tyrann Mathieu, who played extensively in the slot in 2013.
Head coach Bruce Arians has talked up the unproven Bethel, saying he could be even better than Peterson, but also saying he has a way to go if he is going to beat out Powers.
It isn't just Arians who believes Bethel has a ton of talent. Teammate Calais Campbell believes it, too, and even said as much on The Big Red Rage show he appears on for the official team website.
"I think Justin Bethel has the potential to be great, but you have throw him in the fire and let him figure it out," Campbell said.
Bethel could beat out Powers, but the most likely scenario is Powers starts, but slides inside to the slot in sub packages, allowing Bethel to come in and play outside.
Things get more difficult for Bethel if Mathieu plays in the slot again, as he did his rookie year. If Mathieu plays there. then Bethel will have to beat out Powers outright for the starting job.
As stated before, that position battle in offseason work and in training camp will be fun. Can Bethel take the next bis step, or will he continue to be potentially great or simply a great special teams player?