How S Jaquan Brisker’s Bears selection ranked across the board
The Chicago Bears doubled their defense with the addition of Penn State Jaquan Brisker with the 48th overall pick in the NFL Draft, where general manager Ryan Poles tackled big holes in the secondary.
The secondary was a major concern for the Bears last season, and the Poles immediately improved at cornerback with Kyler Gordon and safety with Gordon, who is an all-around athlete with proven college success.
Brisker projects himself as an immediate starter at safety against Eddie Jackson, where Chicago has two players who have shown they can be ball peddlers in their respective careers. Brisker allowed just one touchdown in nearly 1,000 collegiate snaps, and he was hailed as a leader in the locker room.
Here’s a collection of all of Brisker’s ratings from various sports outlets, and while analysts believe Chicago got great value, it was tough to get in on a wide receiver’s pass for Justin Fields.
Brisker is an active defender with a variety of skills that could make him a dynamic Swiss Army knife-like playmaker as a professional. He excels near the surface but also has the instinct and awareness to be effective between numbers.
The Bears doubled their defense in the second round and selected a player who could start against Eddie Jackson safely. Most of Brisker’s snaps have come in the box, but his versatility makes him a fit at deep safety or in the slot. “He was always the kind of guy who was the defensive on-field coordinator for Penn State,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. His height (6-foot-1, 204 pounds), flexibility and physicality make him a solid addition to Chicago’s secondary, but the bigger topic might be the Bears’ decision to forgo any offensive additions with their first two pick to help quarterback Justin Fields in his second season.
Brisker (6-foot-1, 206) made 21 starts for the Nittany Lions and defended 19 passes and five interceptions in three seasons. He’s a smart, physical player with the skills to play multiple roles: in the box, down deep and through the slot. According to Brugler, Brisker hasn’t committed a single penalty in the past two years. He was tested as an average athlete among safeties, but showed he could run (4.49). Brisker’s instincts and physique give him an edge as a quality starter.
Again, at some point the Bears have to recognize that their offense needs players. But I really like Brisker for them.
Long, explosive and hard-hitting safety that shone on cover in the thief role. Not a slot lock type. Smart, no-frills player. Specimen of size and speed. More secondary reinforcement in Chicago. But no WR?
That’s fantastic value for Brisker, and the Bears’ secondary looks promising after this pick with Kyler Gordon at No. 39. But again, that doesn’t help Justin Fields, making him a good but not so good or elite pick despite value. Brisker had three straight PFF ratings of over 80.0 from 2019-2021. He had a few interceptions and four pass breakups en route to an 89.5 coverage rating this season. He is a smart player who has a floor high to the next level.
I love the player, but it’s hard to see the Bears passing a wide receiver like George Pickens for the second time. Justin Fields could use a pass catcher with his full skill set, but Chicago opts to continue rebuilding their secondary with instinctive, big-play safety.
Brisker is a very good prospect that doesn’t help Justin Fields appreciably. Good luck, justin.
Brisker is also an all-round defender with an excellent athletic profile. He ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash on Penn State’s pro day and posted strong change-of-direction numbers with a short shuttle of 4.19 seconds and a three-cone drill of 6.91 , according to The Athletic’s. Danish Brugler.
Overall, the second-team All-American is perhaps best suited in the box because that’s where he can create the biggest impact (pun intended). But he can help in a number of ways, although he’s a bit more inconsistent down the back line.
However, the same issue must be raised for the second time in this round. Brisker is a good football player and a very good value. At some point, quarterback Justin Fields will need more help. That’s what happens when a defensive coach leads the way.
It’s an indication that the Bears will feature more than three safety looks in their secondary given that Eddie Jackson and DeAndre Houston-Carson are quite productive, although Jackson is down a bit. They’ve become the best defensive player available here, as Brisker is adept at making all-court plays with his great speed and reach as well as his intelligence to read quarterbacks well in coverage.
Passing on a receiver signals that they aren’t as enamored with the options as fans might be. Brisker can be a good to very good safety — tough and instinctive — once he absorbs an NFL defense. New head coach Matt Eberflus now has two great plays in his secondary, though more holes need to be plugged later.