Chicago Bears: The top 10 most important players of 2021

Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Jaylon Johnson
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Most important Chicago Bears of 2021: Jaylon Johnson

There’s nothing like a second-year player having to take over for an All Pro at one of the most difficult positions to play. Jaylon Johnson will be attempting to do exactly that as he steps into the role of the Bears’ number one cornerback. With Kyle Fuller being released and ultimately joining former Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio in Denver, it’s Johnson’s cornerback room now.

As a rookie, Johnson flashed the potential to be a true shutdown corner. He began last season combining with Fuller for the lowest quarterback completion percentage allowed among NFL cornerback tandems. Both fed off of each other well, but Johnson will be the guy who needs to step up this year.

Opposite of Johnson is veteran Desmond Trufant, who has struggled to stay healthy in recent years. Johnson has had injury concerns of his own, too, but the Bears desperately need him to stay on the field. It’s a combination of staying healthy and handling the pressure of being the number one corner for Johnson.

As a rookie, Johnson came up with a whopping 15 passes defensed in 13 games. Also, his Pro Football Focus coverage grade was second-best among all outside cornerbacks in the NFL. There’s no doubt Johnson possesses elite talent. He just needs to ensure he stays healthy and proves it.