GM Ryan Poles surprised several people with his first-ever draft pick. Most expected him to do the obvious, which was to add help to the offense for Justin Fields. It was a logical approach, considering how awful that side of the ball was in 2021. Except that isn’t how Poles saw things. He saw the bigger picture. It was a roster that was depleted everywhere and in desperate need of talent, regardless of which side of the ball it came from. So he opted to take the best player on the Chicago Bears‘ board. That was Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon.
The decision was an easy one for Poles. To him, Gordon exemplified everything the Bears were looking for in a great football player. He was smart, tough, and driven. Most importantly? He was a terrific athlete. Despite his somewhat disappointing 4.52 time in the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine, the team knew how freakish Gordon could be from watching tape. The young cornerback provided everybody a glimpse of that talent during minicamp drills when he showed off that 39.5-inch vertical jump.
That is what scouts call “explosive.”
It is why people aren’t too concerned about his rather average 5’11 size. They know he can jump through the roof. Combined with his fluidity and quickness, it’s becoming easier to understand why quarterbacks tried to avoid him so often in college. They knew throwing in his direction rarely led to good things. Unfortunately for him, he happened to play on the same defense as Trent McDuffie, the more celebrated Washington corner that went in the 1st round.
If he’d played elsewhere, there is a real possibility Kyler Gordon might’ve gotten way more recognition leading up to the draft. So weirdly, the Bears should be grateful. If he weren’t so criminally underrated, he never would’ve fallen to where they could get him. That 4.52 at the combine was a blessing in disguise. Now they have a chance to pair him with Jaylon Johnson, giving this defense maybe its most talented cornerback tandem since Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings a decade ago.