2022 NFL Draft: Grading the Bears’ pick of Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker

Image of Jaquan Brisker

The Chicago Bears selected Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker with the 48th overall pick in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Brisker makes it two draft picks invested into the secondary, with Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon selected by General Manager Ryan Poles at No. 39 overall.

Brisker will slide into the starting lineup alongside veteran safety Eddie Jackson. Brisker ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and measured 6-foot-1, 199 pounds. He has the physical and athletic traits to be a versatile and scheme-diverse playmaker, and his five interceptions over the last three years are indicative of his ball skills.

“Athletic safety prospect whose versatility and toughness will endear him to coaches during the evaluation process,” NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote. “Brisker continued to pick up elements of the defensive scheme and his play has steadily transformed from hesitant in 2019 to downright instinctive in 2021. He has the versatility to become a moving chess piece in a variety of coverages and has the size and talent to match up with both “Y” and “F” tight ends. He played with a banged-up shoulder in 2021 so his 2020 tape is a clearer indicator of his run support acumen. Brisker is an ascending talent with the NFL traits to become a long-time starter as a Day 2 draft pick.”

There’s no denying Brisker is a quality player. And there’s no denying he’ll make the Bears’ secondary better. But at some point, the lack of attention paid to the wide receivers has to be addressed. Poles has a plan, and the depth of the 2022 NFL Draft class is its strength; he’s banking on that depth producing a pass-catcher in the upcoming rounds. There should be a quality wide receiver on the board at No. 71.

The Bears chose to pass up Cincinnati’s Alec Pierce, Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore, and Georgia’s George Pickens with this pick. And it’s for that reason I give it a solid C grade.

The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers have leveled up at wide receiver, so upgrading the secondary is a smart play by Poles. But he’s doing it at the expense of quarterback Justin Fields and his weapons in 2022, and that’s risky business.

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