LAKE FOREST, Ill. - The Chicago Bears addressed needs in the secondary with their first two draft picks under new general manager Ryan Poles, selecting Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon in the second round at No. 39 overall and Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker at No. 48 on Friday night.
The Bears got a potential starter opposite Jaylon Johnson by taking the athletic and hard-hitting Gordon. They opted to add to their defense again with their second pick rather than get help for quarterback Justin Fields by going with Brisker.
Gordon had 46 tackles — two for loss — and two interceptions to go with a team-high seven pass breakups in 12 starts last season. Washington’s other cornerback, Trent McDuffie, went to Kansas City with the No. 21 pick. The Huskies finished 4-8 and were fifth in the Pac-12 North with a 3-6 mark in conference play.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 26: Kyler Gordon #2 of the Washington Huskies looks on before the game against the Washington State Cougars at Husky Stadium on November 26, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Brisker, who spent two years at Lackawanna Community College, was a second-team All-American as a senior last season. He had 64 tackles and 51/2 for loss to go with two interceptions and five pass breakups in 12 games despite a banged up shoulder. He opted out of the Outback Bowl loss to Arkansas to prepare for the draft.
The Bears also owned one pick in the third round (71), two in the fifth (148 and 150) and one of the sixth (186). They were without a first-rounder after trading it to the New York Giants last year to move up for quarterback Justin Fields.
The Bears went 6-11 last season and missed the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 years. That convinced chairman George McCaskey to make big changes, so he fired former GM Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy and replaced them with Poles and Matt Eberflus.
Poles has been reworking the roster, trading star pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers. His most notable free agent signing was a three-year agreement with former Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi that got wiped out because of a failed physical.
The Bears came in with issues to address on both sides, considering their offense ranked among the NFL’s worst last year and the defense switching to a 4-3 front after playing a 3-4 for seven years.
Fields had an uneven rookie season, mixing some promising flashes with more interceptions (10) than touchdown passes (seven). The former Ohio State star had an unimpressive 73.2 passer rating.