Kyler Gordon had an awful season, and there is no way around it. However, the question now is how much confidence can the fans have in the Chicago Bears cornerback moving forward. He allowed over 700 yards as a rookie, is there any history of players struggling in the way that Gordon did while going on to have a strong career?
Why it is too early for Chicago Bears to worry about Kyler Gordon
The easy answer is yes. In fact, recently two high-touted cornerbacks in today's game once had huge issues in their rookie season. You can see how the rookie season of Kyler Gordon compares to both AJ Terrell and Jaire Alexander.
Both of them were targeted more, although that may have to do with teams running the ball on Chicago more. Still, the yards per completion favor Kyler Gordon, and they are similar in yards per target. Beyond that, Gordon allowed the same number of touchdowns as Jaire Alexander and gave up less than Terrell. He also had more interceptions than both.
The big question will be the completion rate. Both of them are under 70% while Gordon was over 75% in the completion rate allowed. If the targets increase, and this does not change, then the improvement these others saw will not come.
Terrell struggled with Ja'Marr Chase in the national championship game and followed it up with a poor rookie season. A lot of people were quick to jump the gun and call him a bust. Now, he is universally accepted as a top-10 cornerback, and the Falcons may be extending him this offseason. He dropped to 417 yards allowed, 4.8 per target, and 9.7 per completion in year two.
Speaking of extended, the highest-paid cornerback in average annual salary is Jaire Alexander. The same Alexander who allowed more yards than Kyler Gordon as a rookie. Even in the case of Alexander, he was a player who was learning both the outside and the slot, and that contributed to the slow start. However, he picked things up, and now his ability to play both is one of the better skills of his game. The biggest breakout for Alexander did not come until year three, but it was an All-Pro season.
The Chicago Bears drafted Tyrique Stevenson which will keep the pressure on Gordon if he does not want to become a slot-only player. However, the team has not given up on Gordon and he will get chances to prove himself. We have seen cornerbacks in his position struggle as rookies but find their way by their second or third NFL Season.