Lake Forest, Ill.—The Chicago Bears opted to overhaul the secondary this offseason, drafting two new starters in cornerback Kyler Gordon (Washington) and safety Jaquan Brisker (Penn State), both of whom have generated plenty of excitement among the fanbase. A revamped secondary also raises questions about players that first-year general manager Ryan Poles inherited, with third-year CB Jaylon Johnson being the face of the secondary moving forward.
Johnson’s first two seasons in the NFL saw him improve each week, showcasing the ability to play at a high level against some of the top wide receiver talents in the NFL. As the 23-year old CB heads into his third season, Johnson isn’t just an ascending player. He’s expected to be a leader and take a major step forward, becoming one of the NFL’s elite talents.
“It’s a complete reset,” said Johnson. “Everything I’ve done in the past with the other coaches, with the other staff, it really doesn’t mean too much. I mean, the film is not going to lie to you. But at the end of the day, they want me to show them what I can do in person moving forward.”
Playing under a new coaching staff for players that are not acquired by a new regime usually signals that every player needs to prove themself. Johnson’s case may be unique, due to factors such as his age, talent level, and confidence.
Through 28 starts, Johnson has totaled 24 pass breakups, one interception, and 90 tackles. He’s been more than solid in coverage and to take another step forward in 2022 should see an increase in takeaways and forced fumbles.
Johnson’s potential seems to be unmatched, especially since he’s a player who is continuing to get better. Eligible for a contract extension in 2023, a big year from Johnson in 2022 will go a long way towards keeping Johnson in the Windy City for years to come.