The Chicago Bears started the 2022 NFL draft with six picks and ended it two days later with 11. GM Ryan Poles did a ton of work to get his team as much young talent as possible. Yet most of the attention was reserved for his first pick. It was a minor surprise to many when they grabbed Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon 39th overall in the 2nd round. The surprise stemmed from the team not looking to grab offensive help for Justin Fields. As it turns out, the Bears brass was surprised too. Just not for the same reason.
The team released its latest episode of 1920 Football Drive, which covered the pre-draft process from the scouting combine through pro days and the draft itself. Tons of behind-the-scenes information came from it. Few were better than when the Bears went on the clock. It was revealed that even before that happened, Poles had Gordon as the #1 option on their board, with safety Jaquan Brisker at #2. The moment the time started ticking, Poles informed his people to call the pick in.
Where it gets fun is the reactions.
Head coach Matt Eberflus was spotted with a huge smile on his face, mouthing the word “Wow” as the scene unfolded. Clearly, he was a big advocate of Gordon being the selection. Yet by far the best reaction came from assistant GM Ian Cunningham. With a wide grin of his own, he turned to Poles and whispered, “Are you shitting me?” He could not believe the young cornerback was still available at that spot.
The excitement was evident. Everybody felt the team had gotten a steal. One can imagine how thrilled they were that their #2 guy, Brisker, was still there when they came up again at the 48th pick. Kyler Gordon hasn’t disappointed thus far. The rookie stood out in OTAs with two interceptions during practices. His athleticism, instincts, and ball skills have made him a headache for the Bears’ offense. Brisker also had two forced fumbles.
It is early, but it becomes easier each day to see why Cunningham reacted the way he did. This kid looks like he can play and may become a fixture of the secondary for years to come.