Kyler Gordon (2nd Round) is the Kind of Cornerback the Bears Defense Needed to Avoid a Repeat of Last Year

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Kyler Gordon (2nd Round) is the Kind of Cornerback the Bears Defense Needed to Avoid a Repeat of Last Year

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears entered NFL Draft weekend with six picks and countless needs. And while they didn’t plug every hole, making 11 picks during the draft helped first-year GM Ryan Poles chip away at his roster-building challenge. We’ll meet the Bears’ 11 draft picks, get to know a bit about their past, and where they project to go moving forward.

Previous: None.

KYLER GORDON (ROUND 2, PICK 39)

•  Position: Cornerback
•  College: Washington
•  Height, weight, hand size: 5-11 1/2″, 194 pounds, 9 1/4 inch hands, 31 inch arms

NEED TO KNOW

•  2021 stats: 12 games, 2 interceptions, 7 passes defended, 2 tackles-for-loss, 45 total tackles (36 solo)
•  Accomplishments: First-team All-Pac 12 (2021), All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention (2019, 2020)
•  Position ranking: 6th (ESPN), 7th (CBS), 6th (WalterFootball.com)
•  The Athletic’s consensus ranking based on 82 big boards: 36th overall, 6th cornerback

HIGHLIGHTS

RELATIVE ATHLETIC SCORE

Relative Athletic Score grades player measurements on a 0-10 scale and compares them to their contemporaries. It is a unique way to give some of these prospects some more depth and perspective.

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

•   “Plays with dog mentality and strikes with aggression.” … After watching quarterbacks torch Bears DBs, the secondary was in need of an attitude adjustment. Bringing in someone with this in their profile scratches an itch

•   “Fully capable from press and off coverages.” …  The ability to bring it in multiple ways keeps it fresh.

•   “Consistently targets playmaking angles on most throws.” … Turnovers were lacking last year, so drafting someone who wants to force ’em makes for a welcome addition.

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

•   “Still working on technical aspects of the position.” … Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams, Defensive Backs Coach James Rowe, and Assistant DBs Coach David Overstreet II have their work cut out for them.

•   “Doesn’t fully trust his eyes just yet.” … Maybe this is something that can happen with some pro experience.

•   “Misses too many tackles after the catch.” … This isn’t ideal.

NFL.COM COMPARISON: Byron Jones

WHERE HE FITS

Projected Week 1 starting cornerback opposite Jaylon Johnson.

It’s not just that the Bears were bad at defending the pass last year. Though, they were certainly that from beginning to the end. But that they were awful in the biggest moments and under the brightest lights that really drove it home.

There was just way too much of this in primetime last year:

Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, and Justin Jefferson will always get theirs. But watching them torch the Bears last year expemplified why addressing the secondary was a primary need this offseason. And while signing Tavon Austin as a free agent to work out of the slot, drafting a player of Gordon’s caliber to be a potential long-term fixture was a heady move by the new administration.

Gordon goes down as the first pick of the Poles regime. And if he can help bring the Bears’ defensive backfield back to glory, it will be remembered fondly by Bears fans.



Author: Luis Medina

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