Jaylon Johnson has been giving the Chicago Bears first-round value.
The Chicago Bears didn’t have a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft as a result of their 2018 trade for star defensive player Khalil Mack (a trade Bears fans would likely glady make again) so they had to make due with the selections they had on day two and day three of the draft.
One of those early selections for the Bears was Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson, a guy who easily could have gone in the first round of the draft after what he did as a Ute.
The Bears moved on from Prince Amukamara in the 2020 offseason so finding another starter at the cornerback position was on the offseason to-do list, though Johnson wasn’t actually named a starter until just before the start of the regular season.
Whatever Johnson showed the Bears in the practices leading up to their season opener against the Detroit Lions, he translated to the field immediately.
Johnson ranks second in the NFL right now with five pass breakups in two games, and he’s allowed just six of the 13 passes thrown into his coverage to be caught (46.2 percent).
Through two games for the Bears, Johnson looks like a seasoned NFL veteran, making breaks on the ball and plays on the ball that rookies in the NFL simply don’t make very often.
How huge is this for the Chicago Bears?
Well, Chicago had the option of going to the veteran well in free agency, but that wouldn’t have made a ton of sense considering they went away from Prince Amukamara earlier in the offseason.
They have Buster Skrine and 2019 sixth-round pick Duke Shelley on the roster in addition to Johnson and their CB1 Kyle Fuller, but neither of those options were overly thrilling.
The Bears really put it on Johnson to make an impact right away and he’s done just that.
In a very deep cornerback class, Johnson was the seventh corner off the board and the 50th player off the board overall.
Johnson will face his toughest test yet in week three against the Atlanta Falcons and quarterback Matt Ryan along with stud wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. If Johnson can pass this test with flying colors, he just might be in the top three discussion for defensive rookie of the year.