In 2020, the Chicago Bears had two second-round picks. The first of those picks was used to select Cole Kmet–who earned an honorable mention on this list. The second pick, however, was used on the #3 player on our list.
#3 Jaylon Johnson (36 points)
Jeff B: You need three corners in this league and the Bears know they have one outside guy in Johnson. He’s a very good cover corner that could take the next step to elite as he refines his technique. He’s the guy you build your secondary around.
Rob S: If you’re designing a modern defense from back-to-front, no position will carry more impact than your defense’s cornerbacks, and that makes Jaylon Johnson integral to the Bears’ future. Johnson’s game against Cincinnati was nothing short of outstanding and he’s continued to play well on his side since then. I think he struggles playing the stereotypical “lockdown CB1” role, but if watching Kindle Vildor has taught us anything this season it’s that there’s a massive difference between “good-not-great” and “bad”. Even if Johnson isn’t a “CB1”, he’s a very good corner (great CB2 option) and his play will tip the Bears’ defensive balance going forward. If he can stay healthy–let alone get even better–it’ll help the team massively.
ECD: The corners from Kindle Vildor and down are flat out atrocious. Jaylon Johnson, on the other hand, has looked like a top young corner you need to have on defense in order to build a competitive roster. A corner with ballhawking ability is a big need for the 2022 offseason. Having their #1 field corner on the roster already in Johnson will prove to be a God-send in the short and long term future.
Lester: I’m not sure if he’s the Bears CB1 long term, but he’s certainly a damn good football player and a building block for the future. I’d love to see what he could do if he was in a better overall secondary.
Josh: Unlike a lot of fans, I don’t think he has the makings of a true shutdown corner, but every team needs three corners to start, and there’s no doubt that Johnson is one of the top 50 corners in the league right now. He can hold his own, and he’s likely to keep getting better.
Sam H: His floor is a good, solid No. 1 corner and that’s fantastic. There are only a few shutdown, put-them-on-an-island cornerbacks anyway. Having a solid piece to anchor one side of the defensive backfield is vital in today’s NFL.
Rob Z: Johnson is his own his worst enemy in a way. If had at least one other reliable cornerback next to him, I have to think we’d be thinking Pro Bowl, or better. But with how he takes away the side of a field so easily, you can avoid him when everyone else is a turnstile. One more corner. That’s all I ask.
Bill Z: Johnson has already proven he is a CB1 in this league and if he had a drop of talent around him in the secondary, his praises would be sung even more, but he’s on an island out there against the league’s best on a regular basis. Health is always going to be a concern with Jaylon, but they have a player who should become an elite corner in this league and that’s a tremendous asset.