• Matt Oehl

Following the Rookies: NFC North Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears were without a 1st round pick in the 2020 NFL draft due to the Khalil Mack trade with the Raiders. They made 2 picks in the 2nd round, one being Utah cornerback, Jaylon Johnson. He is another one of the Utah draft class that I loved coming out. With Johnson, Zack Moss, Justin Blackmon, and Bradlee Anae.

Jaylon Johnson has started in all 9 games he has played in and is outperforming his draft position. He has 12 passes defended, 28 tackles (22 solo/6 assisted), and has been targeted 52 times giving up only 35 completions for a completion percentage of less than 50%. On top of that, he has given up 418 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has good size with very good length to be physical at the line of scrimmage. So far in the NFL, he has looked his best when playing press coverage against routes that are releasing towards the boundary, where he can get his head around and make a play on the ball. Johnson has been beaten on inside releasing routes such as slants and posts where he just doesn't look as comfortable. This may be due to his ability to pin receivers to the sideline and not having the sideline to use in the middle of the field. Coming out of college I noticed that he was very physical with his hands that led to some penalties and that he didn't have great short-area quickness which could be a big reason as to why he is getting beat by slants. One thing that is elite about him is his ball skills. He finds the ball and makes a play on it when he gets his head around, when he doesn't he still finds a way to get his hands on the ball, and when sitting in zone his route diagnoses and break one the ball are both very good which is showing up in the stat column. Johnson's aggressiveness is allowing him to separate himself from the rest of this draft class. The Bears seem to have found a very good starting corner play opposite from Kyle Fuller.

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