Image Credit: Utah Athletics
The Bears have gained a valuable piece for their secondary, drafting Jaylon Johnson with their second-round pick, 50th overall. In a division that includes Aaron Rodgers at QB for the Packers, and now Justin Jefferson with the Vikings, the addition of a lockdown corner was a need for Chicago.
Johnson, a Fresno, California native by way of Utah, is a 6-0, 193-pound corner who shows room for growth and improvement. But make no mistake – this corner is no slouch. With great press moves, Johnson gets receivers in a bind, hindering their routes and allowing his defensive line time to get to the quarterback.
The former Ute played lockdown coverage in the pass-happy Pac-12, showing a nose for the football with a good vertical. His variety of press moves keeps receivers off guard, and he’s able to read routes well and adjust coverage accordingly. A quick corner, he’s able to make up space easily if he does get fooled. He’s heads-up in communication, passing receivers off well. He’s also heads-up in the run game and tackles well in space. Our Utah affiliate calls him “the next Richard Sherman”.
Johnson is, though, a little small on the bottom half. Some scouts express concern that he’ll get bullied by larger receivers. He also needs to continue working on his technique, as he sometimes let his feet get away from him. Our Utah affiliate says that he can lose “focus and can let the WR make a big play”.
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What the Experts Say
Boundary bully with an improving skill set to clamp down on WR1s and limit their exposure to the football. Johnson is built for press, with the size, length and athleticism to force receivers to work harder getting into their routes. His eagerness to stay tight to the route leads to inconsistent balance and positioning from time to time, but his foot quickness and agility allow for rapid recoveries. He’s equipped to play the deep ball but needs to fully prove himself in that area. He’s a physical press corner with off-man ability whose anticipation and ball skills should continue to help him make plays as a CB1 and first-round pick. -Lance Zierlein, NFL.com