Chicago Bears select cornerback Kyler Gordon, safety Jaquan Brisker and wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. on Day 2 – Chicago Tribune

After sitting out the first round of the NFL Draft, Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles made his first selections Friday night from Halas Hall.

The Bears started the night with three picks on Day 2 – at Nos. 39 and 48 in the second round and 71 in the third round. They also have three picks on Day 3 – Nos. 148 and 150 in the fifth round and 186 in the sixth round.

Here’s a quick look at each of the Bears new players.

No. 39, second round

Height, weight: 5-11, 194

Why the Bears picked him

The Bears have had a major need for a starter at cornerback opposite Jaylon Johnson and someone to play nickel, and now they have a dynamic athlete as an option for either role.

Gordon had two interceptions and nine passes defended in 12 games in 2021, being named a first-team All-Pac 12 player. He finished his career with 14 passes defended, 98 tackles, three tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles. Gordon’s teammate, cornerback Trent McDuffie, was picked in the 21st round by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Analysts on the ESPN broadcast called him a tough, hard-nosed player with good finishing skills who would fit in well with coach Matt Eberflus’ style.

Gordon said at the combine that he doesn’t have a preference between playing outside or nickel.

Why he was not drafted sooner

Multiple analysts indicated Gordon still needs to develop his instincts and technique. The Athletic ranked him as the sixth-best cornerback in the draft, and he was selected sixth.

Gordon ran a 4.52-second 40-yard dash at the combine, but some within the Bears were actually excited by that, according to scout Francis St. Paul.

“We were like, ‘Uh oh, we might have a chance now,'” St. Paul said. “He plays way faster than that time. And you see it all the time, there are a lot of players that don’t run as fast as we’re all expecting but they play faster. And he has great play speed. “

Scout’s take

“Just his competitiveness, toughness. This is a guy, when you talk to him, you’ll see he’s very calm. Corners, you’ve got to forget about the next play because you’ll get beat. And he’s one of the guys, if he gets beat, it didn’t bother him at all, and he came back and competed more on the next play. ” – St. Paul

In his own words

“My favorite corner growing up, the one I watched most was Darrelle Revis. He’s the one I kind of modeled in my game after just the way he is off the line. He’s just a technician the way he moves. … He’s just a great player. ” – Gordon

You should know

Gordon’s mom got him dancing in competition when he was young, and he said he traveled around the country competing in lyrical, ballet and hip hop.

St. Paul said you can see his dance background in his play.

“You see it in his balance,” St. Paul said. “You see it in his change of direction. He ran a 6.67 (-second) three-cone. And the most impressive thing about it was that it was stumbling and pulled out that stumble and to finish with that time. … If he didn’t stumble, that time would have been amazing. “

Analyst’s take

“He ran in the low 4.5s (in the 40-yard dash at the combine), but he plays so much faster than he can really find and play the ball. … he got the size and length that you love. He’s big-time explosive. … He’s a dynamic athlete. ” – NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah

No. 48, second round

Height, weight: 6-1, 206

Why the Bears picked him

Brisker was named a second-team All-American by multiple outlets as a fifth-year senior in transferring from junior college in 2021. A defensive leader for the Nittany Lions, he had 153 tackles, 9 for a loss, five interceptions and 14 pass breakups in 34 games and 21 starts.

In his senior season of 2021, he had 64 tackles, 5½ for a loss, two interceptions, five pass breakups, and a fumble recovery.

Scout’s take

“You’re talking about a big guy that is physical. We like his toughness. We like his ball skills. … a guy that has got speed, range, ball skills, plus the physical side of the game that we like. Obviously with ‘Flus and his defense, wanting to be a physical team, he also brings that aspect of it too. ” – Bears scout Chris Prescott

Analyst’s take

“Jaquan Brisker was a favorite of (Penn State coach) James Franklin’s from start to finish. … Really a versatile safety. He’s not just an in-the-box type. ” – ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

No. 71, third round

Height, weight: 6-0, 204

Why the Bears drafted him

Jones is a speedy receiver who ran a 4.31-second 40-yard dash at the combine.

He spent four years at USC, including a redshirt freshman year, before transferring to Tennessee for two years. He had a career-high 62 catches for 807 yards and seven touchdowns in 2021.

He was the SEC co-special teams player of the year in 2021. He had 41 kick returns for 1,026 yards and a touchdown in two seasons at Tennessee and added 18 punt returns for 272 yards in 2021.

Why he was not drafted sooner

After spending six seasons in college, Jones turns 25 in May and still needs improvement in his route running, according to analysts.

Analyst’s take

“To me the most Deebo (Samuel) -like player – and he would definitely be Deebo-like, he is not the same talent – but Velus Jones from Tennessee is the kind of guy that is really, really strong and explosive. Like real, real, real fast, someone on jet sweeps. You see it in the kick return game with him, as well. Just get him the ball and let him go. ” –Jeremiah

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