Eddie Jackson, Jaquan Brisker had been excellent 1-2 punch
The Chicago Bears wrapped the 2022 season with a 3-14 document, which culminated in a 10-game shedding streak. However there’s nonetheless causes to be optimistic concerning the future, together with a boatload of wage cap area, the primary total decide within the 2023 NFL draft and the emergence of quarterback Justin Fields.
Right here at Bears Wire, we’re going place by place by way of the 2022 Bears and grading each participant. Wrapping up the protection is security, the place Eddie Jackson and rookie Jaquan Brisker had been fairly the 1-2 punch who bolstered the defensive backfield.
Eddie Jackson: A
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Jackson had a bounce again 12 months in 2022, the place he established himself as a defensive chief following the departures of Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn. After not notching an interception within the earlier two seasons, Jackson led the Bears with 4 picks — and that was in simply 12 video games, as he missed the ultimate 5 after struggling a season-ending foot damage. Jackson added 80 complete tackles, together with one for a loss, six cross breakups and led the group with two pressured fumbles. With rookie Jaquan Brisker within the field, Jackson thrived in his return to free security, which made him one of many NFL’s greatest playmaking safeties within the first two years of his profession.
Jaquan Brisker: B+
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Brisker established himself as Ryan Poles’ greatest draft decide, the place he confirmed his potential as a cornerstone member of this protection transferring ahead. Brisker led the group with 4 sacks and had the second-most tackles (104). He added 5 tackles for loss, one interception, two cross breakups, a pressured fumble and a fumble restoration. Whereas a concussion knocked him out two video games, Brisker performed almost each snap on protection. Apart from his particular person manufacturing, Brisker’s consolation within the field allowed his operating mate Jackson to thrive in his pure free security function.
DeAndre Houston-Carson: B
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Houston-Carson has been one of many longest-tenured veterans on the group, and there’s a cause Poles introduced him again on a one-year deal. Not solely is Houston-Carson a frontrunner on particular groups, however he’s a key reserve at security. After Jackson went down for the 12 months in Week 11, Houston-Carson began the ultimate six video games of the season reverse Brisker. He totaled 45 tackles, together with two for a loss, one interception, one cross deflection and one pressured fumble for the season. With Houston-Carson set to hit the free agent market, the expectation is Poles will deliver again a key contributor on protection and particular groups.
Elijah Hicks: B-
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Hicks, a seventh-round draft pick of California, served largely in a reserve function on protection and was a particular groups contributor throughout his rookie season. Hicks did get two begins on the 12 months, together with within the season finale towards the Vikings, the place he had his greatest outing with 11 complete tackles and a pressured fumble — and that was earlier than he suffered a concussion. Contemplating Hicks was a seventh-round decide, the Bears acquired good worth, and he’ll be a key reserve and particular groups contributor transferring ahead.
INCOMPLETE: A.J. Thomas
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Thomas, an undrafted rookie out of Western Michigan, appeared in 5 video games in restricted vogue, totally on particular groups. However he noticed some motion throughout to accidents within the secondary, the place he totaled 4 tackles. Nonetheless, it’s arduous to judge Thomas given he spent many of the 12 months on the apply squad and noticed the sphere sparingly.