Chicago Bears CB Jaylon Johnson must improve in this area

Chicago Bears - Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Most NFL media, fans, and analysts would all agree that Jaylon Johnson is a good cornerback. While he hit the ground running as a rookie and never looked back, it is also fair to note that even Chicago Bears fans would not argue that Johnson is an elite cornerback yet. He is in a tier below some of the best in the NFL.

He can be inconsistent in coverage, but overall he is good enough. What is impacting his reputation and holding him back a bit is his ability to make plays on the football.

Can Jaylon Johnson increase his interceptions?

Johnson has just one interception since entering the NFL in 2020. To be fair to Johnson, Trevon Diggs is the only player in his draft class with more than one pick, but Darnay Holmes, AJ Green, Kristian Fulton, LJarius Sneed, Isaiah Rogers, and Jeff Okudah all have as many picks in the same time frame.

It goes beyond that. As a rookie Jaylon Johnson led rookies in forced incompletions with six. A.J. Terrell had five and Diggs had four. Last season Terrell and Diggs led the way with eight and seven respectively but Johnson was lagging behind at three.

Now, through two years Diggs is at 11, Terrell is at 12, and Johnson is at nine.

He took a step back last season, but the reality is that he has to become more aggressive on the football. One thing that could help is the defense he is playing in.

Jaylon Johnson has always been better in zone coverage than man. Last season Johnson saw an increase in ma coverage snaps and struggled, but with Matt Eberflus they are moving to a much more zone-heavy situation.

Based on how the first season of Jaylon Johnson was going there was a chance that he took the step into being one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL during his second season. That did not happen, and now Matt Eberflus is pressing his buttons to bring out the most in him.

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It is probably because Eberflus sees the upside that Johnson has, and if Johnson can get his hands on a few more footballs in 2022, he could ascend into the next tier of greatness.