How Jaylon Johnson can become elite for Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears - Credit: Detroit Free Press
Chicago Bears - Credit: Detroit Free Press /

The Chicago Bears have a talented cornerback in Jaylon Johnson. Johnson has been asked to follow wide receivers this season, mainly because their other options are just asking to get beat. Johnson has done this, and for the most part, has held down his man.

Of course, on Sunday he was asked to follow Davante Adams, one of the best pass-catchers in the game. When you look at the final stat line and see that Adams had 10 catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns it is easy to assume that Johnson got his lunch taken.

That was not the case though, as most of his big plays came from the slot. The biggest was a deep touchdown late in the first half that took a 24-14 lead and cut it to 24-21.

Johnson was not asked to follow Adams into the slot, and Adams put a move on Xavier Crawford that led him into pay dirt.

According to Next Gen Stats, the second half featured Adams in the slot after the Packers realized that Johnson was not going to follow him in there.

An easy gripe by fans is to put Jaylon Johnson in the slot. However, that is easier said than done. Johnson did play the slot during the Bears’ first meeting against Adams, and Adams cooked him in there.

The outside and the slot are two entirely different positions. On the outside, you have the sideline, and the slot you do not. In the slot, there are crossing routes, and you often are asked to play zone, and pick up men crossing into your lane.

It requires a different set of skills. Jaylon Johnson said as much after the game.

The run fits is another great point because the slot is so close to the action. The Packers could motion Adams into the slot, put a tight end on his side, and run to that side often, knowing they have the power advantage.

It is much more complex than simply moving Johnson into the slot.

This is a tough transition, but if Johnson wants to be considered elite, it will need to be done. Jalen Ramsey is known as the cream of the crop and the best cornerback in the game. He is one of the few outside corners who can follow anyone into the slot. This helps in a huge way because not only are big slots such as Chris Godwin taking over the league, but Ramsey can also mix it up with the likes of George Kittle.

Jaylon Johnson does not have that to his game. He surrendered a touchdown to Adams on the outside and gave one up to DeAndre Hopkins last week as well. Still, beyond that, it is hard to find a much better outside cornerback.

Next. This will lead to the firing of Matt Nagy. dark

Jaylon Johnson is a great outside corner, but if he wants to become an elite cornerback, and at least get into a conversation with the best in the game, he will need to be able to follow wideouts into the slot.