Did Kyler Gordon meet rookie expectations with the Chicago Bears?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After the 2022 NFL draft, we looked at what a typical second-round rookie cornerback does in terms of production. This gave us a baseline of stats to watch for Kyler Gordon, the Chicago Bears' second-round pick.

So, how did Kyler Gordon compare to these players?

Comparing Chicago Bears rookie Kyler Gordon to past second round picks

The rookie seasons that we compared Kyler Gordon to were Jaylon Johnson, Trevon Diggs, Ronald Darby, Casey Hayward, Janoris Jenkins, James Bradberry, Xavien Howard, Carlton Davis, Trayvon Mullen

On average these players allowed 44 catches on 78 targets on average during their rookie season. They also gave up 556 yards, and four touchdowns. On the other side, they added three interceptions with 12 forced incompletions.

What is fascinating to note is that Kyler Gordon was targeted 77 times, so the average projection was nearly perfect. However, he allowed 63 catches, while the successful round-two corners allowed 44 on average.

Kyler Gordon allowed 795 yards, compared to 556 from those cornerbacks. He did only give up four touchdowns and had three picks which were right on expectations. However, he also only had four forced incompletions, while others had 12.

Needless to say, Gordon did not meet expectations in most of the important areas. It was far too easy to complete passes on Gordon and he was not getting his hands on enough passes either.

This could be why the Chicago Bears drafted two cornerbacks in the 2023 NFL draft. Both of them play outside, and it could signal that the team wants Kyler Gordon to focus solely on playing in the slot next season.

This makes sense when you consider the profile of Gordon and the reality that they compared him to Kenny Moore from the Colts coming out. He was always likely to end up in the slot and played 56% of his coverage snaps in the slot last season.

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However, it also has to be noted that he allowed 1.91 yards per snap in the slot last season, meanwhile, he allowed 1.61 yards per snap on the outside. Still, it is hard to take too much away from that because the overall takeaway is that playing both made him struggle. Even if he was worse in the slot last season, if he is just focusing on the slot, there is a real chance that his production improves in that area immensely.

They asked too much of Kyler Gordon, and now they will be asking him to do less, and it could result in more.