3 Bears Draft Picks Who Are Officially Busts Following 2023 Season

As the Chicago Bears decide what to do with the 1st overall pick in April, it's officially time to labgive the "bust" label to these three former draft picks.

WR Velus Jones Jr. is officially a draft bust.
WR Velus Jones Jr. is officially a draft bust. / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
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3. CB Kyler Gordon — 2022 Round 2, Pick 39

The 2022 draft clash had several highly-touted cornerbacks on the board, including Kyler Gordon. The ex-Washington defender, who the Bears drafted 39th overall, was fresh off a first-team Pac-12 performance with the Huskies and was joining a Chicago secondary that had just allowed the second-fewest passing yards in the 2021 campaign.

Having said that, Gordon struggled to find his footing in his first year of pro ball. Although he had three interceptions and six defended passes across 14 starts, he still surrendered 63 completions for 764 yards and three touchdowns on 82 targets. His 46.4 coverage grade on PFF only further highlights his rookie shortcomings.

Optimistic Bears fans hoped for a bounce-back performance in 2023, but that wasn't the case. While his 68.2 coverage grade was an improvement, he still gave up 47-of-61 targets (77.0%) for 444 yards and a pair of TDs while missing five tackling attempts (7.6%). The 93.9 passer rating he allowed also would've ranked 13th-best among 59 QBs, which was better than the likes of Patrick Mahomes (92.6) and Josh Allen (92.2).

If that isn't bad enough, it looks like the coaching staff is losing patience. After all, Gordon went from playing 97% of defensive snaps as a rookie to 80% in Year 2. Eric Washington joining as the new Bears defensive coordinator could mean even less playing time for the 24-year-old.

If Gordon comes out and wets the bed again in 2024, it's going to be harder to argue against the 'bust' label. He looks promising now and then, but it's hard to get excited about his long-term future in Chicago after fellow Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson completely outshined him last season.

Hopefully, Gordon proves me wrong in 2024 or else it's going to be tough to buy him as an everyday contributor.

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