Bears Cornerback Jaylon Johnson Explains Utah’s Success In Having Players NFL Ready
May 5, 2020, 3:38 PM | Updated: Jun 3, 2020, 1:33 pm
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah defensive back Jaylon Johnson has big plans for himself in the NFL after being drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the NFL Draft.
Johnson being a two-time All-Pac-12 player is ready to make a statement in the league after being selected at No. 50 overall by the Chicago Bears.
Johnson enters a defense that was one of the best in the NFL but needs help in the secondary since cutting cornerback Prince Amukamara for salary cap reasons. Amukamara had 10 pass breakups and Chicago needs to make up that lost production.
Tonight at 8:05 p.m. we have on former Ute and newly drafted @ChicagoBears CB Jaylon Johnson.
— KSL Unrivaled (@KSLunrivaled) May 2, 2020
Johnson feels confident he can be that guy to step in and play right away he told KSL Unrivaled.
“I feel their secondary is solid, but they need another piece and I feel like I can be that perfect fit that they need,” Johnson said. “I can add some value and swag to that other side and continue to make plays. I was excited that I get to be part of that defense.”
Johnson going to the Bears was a huge get for the team. He was considered a first-round talent but fell into them mid-second round. Perhaps that puts a little bit of a chip on his shoulder for not being a first-round pick to prove he really is a first-round talent.
Johnson’s comment about “swag” shows he is ready to make a splash in the NFL, according to KSL Unrivaled.
Utah Turns Two-Stars Into NFL Draft Picks
Utah has been the premiere team out West sending players to the NFL and leading the Pac-12 in combined picks over the past two years.
Johnson explained it is not only head coach Kyle Whittingham but defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley who is prepping players for the next level.
“I feel like it is just about the grind from the team and defensive standpoint,” Johnson said. “We have to work for everything we get because we do not have too many of the natural athletes that come in like four or five-star guys running 4.3 and 4.4s. We don’t get that too often at Utah so it is taking what we got and building who we are and keeping our identity.
“All of the [NFL] coaches said, ‘[Utah] is a tough defense and I like the way you guys play.’ I thought that is a testament to coach Scalley and coach Whittingham and the whole staff in general in how they go about teaching us.”
Getting that praise is nice but the next step is to actually perform at the next level and that is a challenge for incoming rookies who are unable to actually meet with teams at this point. Learning virtually is going to be the norm for rookies until camps can begin in the future.
Who are the @ChicagoBears getting in @Utah_Football cornerback Jaylon Johnson? Here's a look at what he accomplished as a Ute and what will make him great in the #NFL #NFLDraft #NFLDraft2020 https://t.co/mswkFuB8kZ pic.twitter.com/zs7zkYAArZ
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) April 25, 2020
“They keep doing everything virtually and I just had a rookie seminar the other day. Everything would do for in-house meetings we just virtually with meeting with coaches,” Johnson said. “I talk to my position coach twice a day all week, so it is not just me trying to learn it on my own. You have to be ready and going over the defense and adding stuff in and making sure we are ready. Even the trainers are making me go to physical therapy, and you can tell how serious it is compared to college.”
This is a one of a kind rookie experience for Johnson and this 2020 class of NFL players. At this point, there is a lot of responsibility for these guys to make sure they are ready to hit the field running when allowed. Johnson seems to be one of the many players who are doing everything the staff asks of him to be ready once the time comes they can all meet as a team.
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