Ten Most Important Bears Players: Jaylon Johnson
Jeffrey Becker - USA Today Sports

Ten Most Important Bears Players: Jaylon Johnson


by - Senior Writer -

If you are going to talk the talk, you better be able to walk the walk, and that is exactly what Chicago Bears CB Jaylon Johnson has done since arriving in Chicago. Although he doesn't get the love that some of the game's best DBs get, the results are all the proof you need that Johnson is one of the best CBs in the game (No. 6 ranked Bears player).

After entering last season in a contract year, Johnson was considered a trade candidate most of the season, as many teams were monitoring the Bears during the early part of the season. Once the deadline came and went with Johnson still on the roster, the veteran DB went on to put forth another solid season. He finished the season with 31 tackles, 10 pass breakups, and a career-high four interceptions.

The interceptions alone were worth noting, as he came into the season with just one career pick and now has five following his outstanding year. Looking at his career as a whole, Johnson has a knack for getting after the ball, as he has compiled 161 career tackles, three forced fumbles, 41 pass breakups, and five career interceptions. One of those interceptions was returned for a TD with that one coming last season as Johnson is finally starting to become the playmaker the Bears have been waiting for.

His season alone last season made it abundantly clear that he was someone the Bears couldn't let get away, so Chicago rewarded him with a lengthy extension, as he will remain one of the key pieces on this team. Unlike a lot of CBs in the game today who want to come down with the interception, Johnson could care less about that, as he just wants to match up with you and take you out of the game.

He does that by playing physical and getting in a defenders face off the line while also challenging passes to come away with tons of pass breakups. Ideally you would like to see some of those breakups turn into interceptions which they did last season, but as long as he is making plays in the secondary the Bears don't care how it is done.

In an era where offense is king, especially in the passing game, it is important to have players capable of being lockdown corners. Johnson may not be considered a lockdown corner per se, but he is as close to one as you can get, as most teams have to think twice about going his way. With him being the No. 1 CB on this team, Johnson will draw his opponent's best WR, and for the most part, he holds up very well against them.

That is unless your name is Justin Jefferson, who has torched him in the past, but even at that, Johnson has done a better job of keeping him in check to prevent the big play from happening. With such a young secondary that includes the likes of Kyler Gordon, Jaquan Brisker, and Tyreque Stevenson, Johnson is going to play a vital role in the team's overall defensive success.

The more production he has early on in the season, the less likely teams will challenge him, as it puts more pressure on the other guys to step up. I'm not saying they can't step up, but apart from Brisker, who started to show up in big moments last season, can you really count on some of these guys to be the lockdown guys this team needs them to be should Johnson not be as challenged as he has been in the past?

Ultimately, the success of Johnson, or the secondary for that matter, comes down to the pass rush, which was non-existent until Montez Sweat arrived last season. The more pressure the front seven can generate, the more likely it will be for the Bears to force the turnovers they were living off of down the stretch. Johnson has a real chance to be considered a top-five CB this season and for years to come if the Bears defense can continue to make the strides they made last season.

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