Just like that, the Chicago Bears are now two picks in and will not see a pick again until Day 3. After a questionable pick at No. 43 overall, Ryan Pace redeems himself on the defensive side of the ball with Jaylon Johnson.
If we can take anything from the first two picks of Ryan Pace this year, the offensive line is not as big of a concern to him as Chicago Bears fans and the tight end position is extremely important to Matt Nagy’s offense. That said, I am split down the middle with these two picks.
With the first pick in the second round, Ryan Pace took Cole Kmet. As I said, I like Kmet, but felt like this was too early. I had a third-round grade on Kmet. Pace redeems himself though by selecting Jaylon Johnson at No. 50. Johnson was my CB6 and the second-best cornerback left heading into Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft. Johnson was my 32nd overall draft prospect and I had a first-round grade on him.
Does Pace just struggle on the offensive side of the ball because he keeps hitting on his defensive moves. Johnson was a four-star recruit who chose to play at Utah over USC. Well, it did not seem to affect his draft stock. Johnson was a three-year starter and stands 6’0″ tall. He will likely push Tre Roberson and Kevin Toliver to start come Week 1 of the regular season. In three years, Johnson grabbed seven interceptions — four of those coming in his sophomore season in 2018.
Johnson is an aggressive quarterback and has good measurables. He ran a 4.50 40-yard dash and has a 36.5″ vertical. He will fit in nicely in the NFC North too as he will face off at times against the likes of Davante Adams, Kenny Golladay and Adam Thielen.
What Ryan Pace probably likes most about Jaylon Johnson is that he has two interceptions returned for touchdowns. He clearly fits into a defense that likes to bring pressure. With an improved defensive front this season as Robert Quinn replaces Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks returns from injury, the defensive backs should see more turnover opportunities.
The biggest knock on Johnson is that he can be overly aggressive. I think that will be overlooked on this team though because of how much talent the defensive side of the ball has. He might be flagged early as he tries to keep up with receivers who he bites on in press coverage. Chuck Pagano and Deshea Townsend will need to reel him in quickly and this could be tough with a shortened offseason.
I am very excited about this pick. I think he will turn into a great professional and the Chicago Bears defense just got instantly better. Sorry Roberson and Toliver, Jaylon Johnson is here to take over. Ryan Pace is now off my BLEEP list but is still on a short leash thanks to that Cole Kmet pick.