Chicago Bears: Can Jaylon Johnson replace Kyle Fuller?

Chicago Bears - Syndication: PackersNews
Chicago Bears - Syndication: PackersNews /

As a rookie cornerback, not too many people were displeased with the results of the Chicago Bears second-round selection from Utah, Jaylon Johnson. It helped that he was not required to be the main guy and played opposite Kyle Fuller.

However, as Bears Wire pointed out, Jaylon Johnson was in a population of few as one of the best ball-hawking corners in the 2020 season. And that’s all after being drafted into a COVID-19 offseason full of firsts for many.

What is Jaylon Johnson missing to become the Chicago Bears true CB1?

However, if he was this impactful in the area of being a ball hawk, where did Johnson’s game lack? Because if this stat was all-telling of the cornerback power on the Chicago Bears defense, the talk about an obvious hole at corner wouldn’t hold much weight.

According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), the truth comes out a bit. In the 2020 season, the Utah rookie ranked 59th in solo tackles (40), 38th in targets (72), 50th in receptions allowed (41), and the biggest tell of them all, a goose egg in the interception category.

Now, I expect those numbers to get inflated due to just more playing time, but one of the bigger worries that Chicago Bears fans seem to have is Johnson’s ability to stay healthy for 17 games.

Jaylon Johnson has had a history of shoulder injuries dating back to high school, which usually wouldn’t make my ears perk up, but the fact that he had a shoulder issue in 2020 gives me some reasons to be wary.

While Jaylon Johnson has talent at corner, if the Bears want to avoid cardiac issues in the future regarding their No. 1 corner position, finding another Kyle Fuller would help Jaylon Johnson a lot. Not only in terms of having talent around him but also due to the off chance that Johnson finds himself being sidelined after another complication with the shoulder.

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With there being many question marks on what the Chicago Bears defense could look like in 2021, a lot of those question marks revolve around the cornerbacks in Chicago. Jaylon Johnson has a chance to make a big name for himself this year, so it will be interesting to see if how he handles the pressure.