Meet the Bears Other Second-Round Pick: Cornerback Jaylon Johnson

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Meet the Bears Other Second-Round Pick: Cornerback Jaylon Johnson

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears offense has its issues. And ideally, some of their problems can be addressed by adding tight end Cole Kmet to the room. But on the other side of the field, I had held out hope that they’d be able to keep the defense as a strength.

Fortunately, drafting Jaylon Johnson with the team’s *OTHER* second-round pick was a positive step toward reaching that goal.

THE PICK (ROUND 2, PICK 50)

•  Name: Jaylon Johnson
•  College: Utah
•  Position: Cornerback
•  Height, weight, hand size: 6-0, 193 pounds, 31 3/8-inch arms, 9 3-/8-inch hands

STATS TO KNOW

•  2019 stats: 13 games, 2 interceptions, 13 passes defended, 1 tackle-for-loss, 36 total tackles
•  Career stats: 38 games, 7 interceptions, 28 passes defended, 1 sack, 3 tackles-for-loss, 102 total tackles
•  Position ranking: 4th (Pro Football Focus), 5th (ESPN), 8th (CBS Sports), 9th (Walter Football)

HIGHLIGHTS

NFL COMBINE RESULTS

•  40-yard dash: 4.5 seconds
•  Bench press: 15 reps
•  Vertical jump: 36.5 inches
•  Broad jump: 124 inches
•  3-cone drill: 7.01 seconds
•  20-yard shuttle: 4.13 seconds

THREE STRENGTHS (FROM NFL.COM’s DRAFT PROFILE)

•  “Has rake-it-or-take-it ball skills” … This is one of my favorite one-liners in any cornerback profile I’ve read all draft season. The ability to create turnovers is of the utmost importance.

•  “Smart and instinctive in off-man and zone” …  The ability to hang in zone and keep up in man coverage helps give Johnson a high floor.

•  “Physical traits and athletic tools for early round consideration” … *Heart-eyes emoji*

THREE WEAKNESSES (FROM NFL.COM’S DRAFT PROFILE)

• “Needs to play with better calm and trust his technique” … This is where having a defensive coordinator with a history of getting the most out of defensive backs comes in handy. You’re up, Chuck Pagano.

•  “Occasionally loses sight of receiver when focusing on passer” … That doesn’t seem ideal.

•  “Slow, prowling shuffle in Cover 3 opens deep threats from speed” … Keep your eyes peeled, Eddie Jackson. The young gun could use your help over the top.

NFL.COM COMPARISON: Shaquill Griffin

WHERE JOHNSON FITS

As soon as the Bears released Prince Amukamara in a cap-clearing measure, the need to add at cornerback was clear. And while Chicago added Tre Roberson and Artie Burns in the offseason, they were still missing a high-floor, high-upside cornerback. That’s where Johnson fits in.

Snagging a second-team All-American in the second round brings a little something extra to the position group. Johnson’s game-film shows a corner who can limit top receivers on the outside with physicality and aggressiveness. NFL.com Draft analyst Lance Zierlein called Johnson a “boundary bully” in the Utah product’s profile. Being a “boundary bully” just seems like something you would expect from a Bears cornerback. Welcome aboard, new guy.


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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.