The Chicago Bears’ decision to draft cornerback Kyler Gordon in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft was met with criticism. Analysts and fans expected general manager Ryan Poles to add reinforcements for quarterback Justin Fields. Poles stuck to his board, though, and opted for Gordon instead.
After the first two days of voluntary OTAs this week, Gordon is flashing.
“Kyler’s been lighting it up the last two days,” head coach Matt Eberflus said Tuesday. “I’ll just tell you that. The guy’s got tremendous ball skills. He’s been playing the defense the right way, and we’re very impressed with him. I’ll just tell you that. And he’s doing a good job the first two days.”
Sure sounds like the Bears landed a starter in the second round, doesn’t it?
Kyler Gordon entered the 2022 NFL Draft process as a prospect who could sneak into the first round. Some draft analysts had him rated higher than his Washington Huskies teammate, Trent McDuffie, who was selected in the first round (21st overall) by the Kansas City Chiefs.
“We’ll see where it goes. He’s young. He’s got a lot to learn, but we’re excited with where he is with his ball-hawking skills. No question.”
Eberflus isn’t alone in his excitement about Gordon. He profiles as the best all-around cornerback on the roster, which is lofty praise considering Jaylon Johnson’s established reputation as one of the top young defensive backs in the NFC.
Kyler Gordon impressing veteran teammates
“[Gordon’s] made some plays as well as [Jaquan Brisker],” Johnson said Tuesday. “I mean, the break on the ball. They’re ballhawks. They’re ball hungry. That’s definitely a good thing knowing that they’re aggressive towards the ball.”
Gordon and fellow 2022 second-round pick, safety Jaquan Brisker, are already separating as likely starters in Week 1. According to Johnson, it should be baptism by fire.
“I mean, they’re our first two draft picks,” he said. “I feel like we’ve got to see what they can do right now. And then I feel like we can kind of know what the attitude and what the vibe is heading into camp. If I was the coach, I wouldn’t ease them into it. I would throw them out there.”
Gordon wasn’t the popular pick on draft weekend, but he was the right pick. And if the early impression he’s making on his coaches and teammates is any indication of his upside, he could also be one of the steals of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Bryan is the founder and managing editor of Bears Talk. His previous stops include Bears coverage for NBC Sports Chicago and USA Today. His NFL Draft and Bears coverage has also been featured on The Draft Network.