It's been a near-consensus opinion in the days following the 2020 NFL Draft: The Bears landed a steal at No. 50 overall in Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson.
Johnson, in the run-up to draft weekend, was considered one of the top prospects at his position and a likely first-round pick. Concerns about a shoulder injury caused him to slide into Round 2. His frustrating draft experience will be the Bears' gain, for more reasons than just the pick itself.
Johnson is on a mission to prove that the teams who passed on him in the 2020 draft made a huge mistake.
“The way I took it is [other teams] feel like there were so many other corners better than me that I couldn’t add value to that organization,” Johnson said during a post-draft conference call. “So for me, at the end of the day, I’m going to go out every week and show who I am, what I could’ve been for any team that would have selected me and really just give back to the team that did pick me and show love to them.”
This reaction shouldn't come as a surprise for those who studied Johnson's tape. He plays with confidence and a fiery demeanor, two traits that will be welcomed with open arms in the Bears' secondary.
"Honestly, I'm a dog. I'm a real strong competitor," Johnson said. "Everything I did at Utah, I had to be that No. 1 corner and going out every week and shutting down No. 1 wide receivers. I'm used to getting after it. I'm used to challenging guys. I never shy down from competition. In big games, there was never a time that I didn't show up and make plays."
Johnson should have the inside track at a starting job in his rookie season alongside veteran Kyle Fuller. If he manages to lock down that role, he'll have more than his fair share of opportunities to accomplish his goal of proving his doubters wrong.