Rookie Jaylon Johnson Ready to Step Up
The Chicago Bears opted to let nine-year veteran DB Prince Amukamara leave via free agency this past offseason in order to pursue a new compliment opposite Kyle Fuller. Amukamara saw his stats dip in 2019 after the Bears Defense as a unit had a historic 2018 season. He went from 3 INT to 0. From 66 tackles to 53. And from 2 forced fumbles to just 1. The veteran’s three-year, $27M contract had expired, and at age 31, General Manager Ryan Pace decided it was time to look for a younger upgrade for the Bears secondary as they attempt to re-capture the fire from 2018.
The Bears selected DB Jaylon Johnson with the #50 overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. The rookie from Utah stared in all three of his collegiate seasons with the Utes, posting a college career of 102 tackles, 7 INT, 2 defensive TD, and 0 forced fumbles. Over the span of his career, Johnson has covered top Pac-12 playmaking wide receivers such as Brandon Aiyuk (#25 overall pick to San Francisco in 2020) and Michael Pittman Jr. (#34 overall to Indianapolis in 2020). Ryan Pace shared his insight with his team’s newest defensive back with Gene Chamberlain of Sports Illustrated, “Jaylon is a really intelligent player, plays the game with excellent instincts and awareness. You can see it in the way he plays. And Jaylon’s another guy with outstanding football makeup, really high football character. This is a guy who is driven and passionate, a lot of stories about his work ethic and just his professional approach to the game.” High praise for a player with plenty of upside.
The Bears shared a great tweet via their Twitter account last month that should get Bears fans excited about the newest member of their team’s secondary:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 14, 2020
For fans that do not remember, Jeff Okudah (#3 overall to Detroit), CJ Henderson (#9 overall to Jacksonville), AJ Terrell (#16 overall to Atlanta), Damon Arnette (#19 overall to Las Vegas), Noah Igbinoghene (#30 overall to Miami), and Jeff Gladney (#31 overall to Minnesota) were all drafted before Johnson was taken by Chicago.
The Bears take on the Lions in Detroit Week 1 on Sunday (9/13) at 1pm EST