Chicago Bears: PFF snubs Jaylon Johnson in latest DB rankings

Chicago Bears (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

One of the bright spots for the Chicago Bears this season was rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson. While working without a first-round pick for the second straight year due to the Khalil Mack trade, General Manager Ryan Pace found a way to steal Johnson in the second round after he slipped due to injury concerns that plagued him at Utah.

Chicago Bears’ DB Jaylon Johnson was left off of Pro Football Focus’s list of the top CBs.

Jaylon Johnson’s emergence as a rookie proved crucial for the Chicago Bears last year as they had a hole to fill at outside cornerback opposite to Kyle Fuller last season. In fact, Johnson’s progression and development as a rookie is part of the reason why the Bears have been able to stomach the unfortunate loss of Kyle Fuller who was a cap casualty.

However, either PFF just never watched Jaylon Johnson play or they need to seriously reevaluate how they rank corners. He was tied for ninth in the NFL in pass breakups and he allowed a 56.4 percent completion percentage for quarterbacks when targeted which ranked 20th in the NFL among cornerbacks.

I ranked the corners PFF listed in their ranking (three did not have data available) and among those corners, Jaylon Johnson ranked 13th in completion percentage when targeted and 19th in touchdowns allowed. There are a number of other categories where Johnson ranked in the mid-20s range but I believe this speaks to where he should actually be ranked.

Jaylon Johnson is an up-and-coming corner in the league with a lot of room to grow. However, he has exhibited the traits that all coaches say are necessary for defensive backs to succeed, especially having a short memory after bad plays. He exudes confidence and based on his play last year alone he should have definitely been included on PFF’s ranking of the top 32 corners.

Where should Jaylon Johnson be ranked?

Realistically, Jaylon Johnson should be ranked around 25 but I could see him jumping into the top 15 and borderline top 10 if he continues to build on what he did well in 2020. Even Johnson’s counterpart, Kyle Fuller was arguably disrespected in these rankings as PFF has him ranked 21st on their list of corners.

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It is important to note that Johnson’s rookie season was also impacted by COVID-19 taking out a lot of offseason activities and the preseason. With a full offseason this year and a return to a Fangio-like system under new defensive coordinator Sean Desai, Jaylon Johnson should have everything at his disposal to take a leap forward in his sophomore campaign atop the Chicago Bears defensive back depth chart.