The Chicago Bears solved their cornerback problem in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft with the selection of Kyler Gordon at No. 39 overall. Gordon, who many draft analysts had pegged as a first-round pick, will pair with third-year cornerback Jaylon Johnson to form one of the NFC’s top young tandems.
General Manager Ryan Poles explained what’s so appealing about Gordon’s game in his press conference after the pick was announced.
“The great thing about him is his movement skills are outstanding,” Poles said. “He’s tough. [He has] what we call reactive athleticism, twitchy. He’s going to help us in coverage big-time and make that whole defense even better. The other thing you love about him is just the instincts. He’s got a great feel for the game. There’s been a lot of good players coming out of Washington, especially in that secondary, so we’re pumped about that.”
Gordon’s cornerback running-mate at Washington, Trent McDuffie, was selected 21st overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. In 2015, Marcus Peters was the Chiefs’ first-round pick at No. 18 overall. Desmond Trufant was a first-rounder in 2013, and the list of second-round cornerbacks produced by the Huskies program is a long one.
“I know one of the cool things about him, people talk about him doing the ballet thing,” Poles said. “I don’t know if anyone mentioned it, but he was also big into kung fu as well. He’s a real cool, unique kid, and we’re excited to add him.”
A cornerback with ballerina feet and a martial artist’s hands is quite the combination.
Chicago entered the 2022 draft with questions at wide receiver, but their lack of starting talent in the secondary was just as glaring. And while the cornerback position doesn’t get the same hype as pass-catchers in a fantasy football world, they’re just as crucial to winning football games.
With Gordon in place, the Bears’ defense is one step closer to returning to its rightful place near the league’s top.