Chicago Bears rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson hasn’t hit the field to work yet but he’s already impressing his coaches with his intelligence.
The Chicago Bears haven’t hit the practice field as a team yet so the players have yet to get to meet their new teammates or catch up with their old ones. Some players who live close to each other got together to work out, but they haven’t gotten all together yet.
The Bears feel they got a steal with Jaylon Johnson. They drafted Johnson with the second of their two second-round picks (50th overall).
Johnson was a first-round rated cornerback but teams shied away from him because of injury concerns. With the Covid-19 virus preventing teams from conducting physical exams on draft prospects, Johnson fell onto the Bears’ lap in the second round. General manager Ryan Pace showed in the past he’ll do his due diligence and will take a chance on someone with injury concerns. It hurt him when he drafted wide receiver Kevin White but it worked out spectacularly well when he drafted safety Eddie Jackson.
Now Pace hopes Johnson works out as well as Jackson did.
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So far, Johnson has impressed his coaches. While he hasn’t gotten to work out and practice on the field or meet his teammates, he’s already impressed his coaches. This is what defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano has to say about Johnson.
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He gets football, and he asks the right questions. He has the talent to go out and do all the things that we’re going to ask him to do from a coverage standpoint, from a run support standpoint… He’s a talented guy and he’s a smart guy.
Pagano also stated that he isn’t going to give the starting outside cornerback job to Johnson. He’ll compete with Artie Burns, Tre Roberson, and Kevin Toliver. However, the starting job likely comes down to Burns and Johnson. Burns has the experience advantage over Johnson but he struggled after having a good rookie season. After recording 3 interceptions in 2016, he had just one the last three seasons. He lost his starting job and ultimately the Pittsburgh Steelers let him walk via free agency. Now Burns tries to revive his career against a player who looks to be in the future of the team’s plans.
It won’t be an easy task to win the starter’s job. Johnson has to adjust to better competition at the next level. He has to get used to handling faster and more athletic receivers than he faced at college. In college, he faced some downtime by facing some lower-level competition. That won’t happen in the NFL. Every week he’ll battle with top-notch athletes.
If Johnson shows that he’s ready to take on NFL competition right away he’ll win the job. Chicago Bears fans will then begin to celebrate his actions on the field. He already showed his coaches that he has a high football IQ that’ll help him on his journey.