Finding NFL comparisons for Chicago Bears rookie Kyler Gordon
The cornerback position is one where athleticsm may matter more than any other position. You are reacting to movements so fast, and the ability to catch up, leap and make plays in the air is so vital. With the Chicago Bears drafting Kyler Gordon in the second round, they have to have some pretty high hopes.
When looking into his athletic profile, what are the more common types of cornerbacks who profile similarly to him?
Below you can see his height, weight, arm length, and a few athletic measurements from the NFL combine. Gordon also did jumps and agility drills at his Pro Day. Looking at both metrics, who are the most similar NFL players to Kyler Gordon?
The first thing to note from this is the wingspan. This is vital for cornerbacks, so we want to see cornerbacks that compare to him with similar arm length. Also, he should be in the 4.45-4.58 range of the 40-yard dash.
When you add in the Pro Day workouts from Kyler Gordon, below are the top NFL comparisons.
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Hayward may be one of the better overall comparisons and the best outcome as well. Hayward was a second-round pick as well, although he went 61st overall. Either way he has been able to make a strong impact and is one of the more respected cornerbacks in the NFL.
The two compare in that both of them can move into the slot at times, which can get Gordon on the field right away as it did for Hayward. Beyond that, both of them are known for being zone cornerbacks who have a great change of direction skills and can make acrobatic pass breakups.
You can see the similar agility times speak to how fluid Hayward and Kyler Gordon are which brings the comparison together.
Mike Hughes is the worst off of the group, but you also have to excuse him because he had off of the field issues, and that is not quite where this comparison is going.
Still, Hughes was drafted in the first round with a similar idea of him being versatile, physical and springy in his movements.
Steven Nelson may not be the best comparison, but it also is a strong look at an average outcome, where he is not the best case, and certainly not the worst. Nelson is entering his eighth NFL season and has been a relied-on starter. He also can move in and out of the slot, although his success on the outside has kept him there.
Still, he is certainly best off in a zone scheme, and Pittsburgh moved on from Nelson when they shifted to man. Gordon plays much more zone than man, and the Bears are expected to be a zone-heavy team, so the comparison and both being best at stopping and breaking on the football is valid.
Kristian Fulton may be the outcome that happens if the team realizes that he can handle man responsibilities more than they thought. Fulton has similar quick feet and explosiveness that get you excited about Kyler Gordon. Last year the Titans relied on Fulton to follow top wideouts and it went well for him. Fulton is on a higher-end upward trajectory and a similar career arch for Kyler Gordon would be exciting.