Should the Chicago Bears draft Jaylon Johnson, from Utah?
The Chicago Bears are likely to draft a cornerback to come in and compete to start. If Jaylon Johnson, from Utah, fell to pick 43, they should jump all over him.
Johnson was a four-star recruit who turned down USC to play at Utah. Johnson started two games as a freshman, but saw plenty of work and allowed 25 receptions on 56 targets according to PFF. As a sophomore, Johnson stepped up as a starter and picked off four passes on his way to being named All-Pac 12. He was named second-team All-Pac 12 a junior and finished his career with seven interceptions to three touchdowns allowed.
Is Johnson a perfect for the Bears at pick 43?
Johnson shows average to above-average traits across the board. For having above average height and weight, his forty-yard dash and three-cone time are still above average for that size. On top of that, he is clearly explosive. His length is not perfect, but long enough.
Johnson is an aggressive press cornerback. He has light feet and trusts his movement to keep everything in front of him. He is confident in press and can play trail technique and use his speed to recover and make plays on the ball. His ball skills are above average as well. At age 21, with 29 starts, he has plenty of experience to go with upside in what he has already done.
Johnson can be hit or miss with his press technique. When he misses, his over-aggressive nature can take him out of plays. While he can rely on recovery to make plays on the ball, he also has multiple pass interference penalties due to his physical nature down the field. Johnson also announced that he was getting shoulder surgery after the NFL combine, which needs to be monitored.
NFL Comparison for Jaylon Johnson
When you look at athletes with similar physical and athletic profiles, 32 other cornerbacks names come up. There are obviously some misses, but there are some pretty good names that have similar profiles.
Kyle Fuller, Artie Burns, and Sherrick McManis are all on this list, so it is clear that Jaylon Johnson, who fit the profile of what Ryan Pace looks for in his cornerbacks.
When looking at the best comparisons from this group, a bunch of former first-round picks stand out.
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All have a little length, but nothing major on Johnson. This is the upside he presents. For an on the field comparison, Fuller is the best one. Both play well in press coverage and are physical in the short and deep areas of the field. Fuller has had some penalties but makes plays and creates interceptions as well. That is the style of player you are getting with Johnson as well.
Fit for Chicago Bears
Johnson is young, has seen the field since a freshman, and was a heralded cornerback in his sophomore and junior seasons. He passed all athletic thresholds, and his playing style and physical attributes compare him to Kyle Fuller, a player he could potentially play across.
Johnson checks a lot of boxes for what you would want in a cornerback, but will he fall? According to a consensus of mock drafts, he goes on average at pick 44. The Chicago Bears first pick 43. If you were to ask me if Jaylon Johnson would get drafted before or after pick 44, I would say before. His floor should be 43 to the Chicago Bears. He is a great fit and could potentially start right away.
It is certainly a question that he will fall to his average mock draft slot, but he certainly needs to be a player that Chicago Bears fans keep an eye on as a great fit for pick 43.