The Chicago Bears saw significant contributions from rookies on offense, defense and special teams during the 2022 season, whether it was from draft picks or undrafted free agents.
The Bears’ best draft pick was none other than safety Jaquan Brisker, who was acquired after the team traded Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers before free agency. Chicago got a second-round pick back for Mack, which turned into Brisker at No. 48.
Brisker helped shore up the defensive backfield alongside veteran Eddie Jackson, and his impressive performance earned him Bears’ Rookie of the Year honors.
Let’s take a look back at Brisker’s rookie season and see what we can expect for the future.
- 104 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 1 interception, 2 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery (15 games)
2022 season review
Brisker was the Bears’ best draft pick last season, where the second-round pick proved to be versatile in the defensive backfield and showcased his ballhawking ability. Brisker moved around the field, whether it was inside the box, defending slot receivers or blitzing, and the production was there. Brisker led the team with 4.0 sacks and had the second-most tackles (104), as well as recorded two takeaways on the season. He was solid against the run and in coverage, although he struggled with tackling at times. Outside of missing two games due to a concussion, Brisker played 100 percent of defensive snaps in all but one game (when he had to leave the field for one play against the Patriots). Outside of his individual production, Brisker was the perfect complement to veteran Eddie Jackson, who thrived in his return to free safety. Brisker stood out with his physicality and playmaking ability on a defense that was lacking in a lot of areas.
Best game: at Patriots (Week 7)
Brisker had his coming out party on Monday Night Football against the Patriots, where he played a huge role in the Bears’ final win of the season (in Week 7). Brisker totaled seven tackles, one pass breakup, one interception and a season-high 90.2 grade. Of course, that interception came after Brisker took a cleat right below the belt on a scramble by Mac Jones, which caused him to leave the game for a play. But he rebounded on his first play back with his first career interception. Brisker was targeted a team-high five times against New England. He allowed one catch for -1 yard and recorded an interception. Whether it was Jones or Bailey Zappe under center, the Patriots’ passer rating when throwing toward Brisker was 0.0.
2023 season outlook
Brisker enters the 2023 offseason as the undisputed starter at strong safety opposite Jackson, and the duo will again anchor the backend of the defense. Where things currently stand, the secondary is no doubt the strength of Chicago’s defense, and Brisker is a big part of that. As a rookie, Brisker was solid in coverage and defending run, but there’s still room for improvement, especially when it comes to tackling. Another year in Matt Eberflus’ defense should benefit Brisker immensely. But given what we’ve seen from Brisker so far, it certainly looks like he’s well on his way to becoming a star and an impactful defensive cornerstone for the Bears.
2022 rookie reviews
We’re unveiling our rookie season reviews over the next week. Here’s a look at the rundown from the 2022 rookie class:
|S Jaquan Brisker||OT Braxton Jones (2/7)||LB Jack Sanborn (2/8)|
|CB Kyler Gordon (2/9)||WR Velus Jones Jr. (2/10)||P Trenton Gill (2/11)|
|DE Dominique Robinson (2/12)||RB Trestan Ebner (2/13)||S Elijah Hicks (2/14)|