Jaylon Johnson is Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded Bears cornerback, and that alone deserves some recognition.
A second-round pick from Utah with just four professional games under his belt, Johnson’s 65.7 overall grade ranks 35th among all qualifying cornerbacks. Among the notable names Johnson ranks ahead of, you’ll find Stephon Gilmore (65.4), Kyle Fuller (64.6), and Tre’Davious White (62.8). In other words, Johnson is looking as good as some of the best in the game right now.
And you can see why:
— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) October 7, 2020
#Bears rookie CB Jaylon Johnson…
More on-the-ball production in Week 4 vs. IND.
Aligned in press here (bottom of the screen). Work through the double-move, stay on top of the route. And play the ball.
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) October 7, 2020
According to PFF’s metrics, Johnson was targeted six times, allowed just two catches, and forced two incompletions. That’s a productive day at the office. And that it came against a wily veteran like Philip Rivers makes it all the more impressive. Johnson’s play has been so good to this point, he is garnering buzz as a legitimate Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate through one-quarter of the NFL’s schedule.
Perhaps more important than his production is Johnson’s swagger. It takes some major stones to play cornerback at a high level in the NFL. Great cornerback play calls for equal parts talent, swag, and fearlessness. Johnson appears to have all of the above. And it doesn’t sound like he’s backing down from anyone:
Go get ’em, rookie!