Poles Watching: Chicago Bears top rookies versus the league in Week 1

How the Chicago Bears rookies performed relative to their peers

The Chicago Bears had an incredible comeback victory in Week 1 over the San Francisco 49ers. The Bears’ second-round rookies played a massive role in the win. Their performance helped to quiet the analysts who predicted their selection would be a net positive for the Bears. General manager Ryan Poles has been criticized by the national media and fans for his choices in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Poles chose to draft a cornerback, Kyler Gordon, and a safety, Jaquan Brisker, with his first two selections. The most blatant complaints were that Poles didn’t address needs on the offense to help second-year quarterback Justin Fields. (I was one of them.)

I thought it would be interesting to make a week-by-week comparison of how Gordon and Brisker stack up compared to their peers. Their peers in this comparison will be wide receivers or offensive linemen taken after Gordon and before Velus Jones Jr. to evaluate Poles’ choices versus other general managers.

This is obviously a short sample size. It’s possible the Bears’ draft choices or their peers blossom after their rookie year. It also doesn’t factor in possibilities like the Bears trading up for first-round talent. But it’ll give Bears fans a chance to see if the Bears were missing out on offense or if Poles’ decision to not overcook the board was prescient. Here’s a list to see how the Bears’ picks compared to a player you might have chosen. I was a fan of picking wide receiver George Pickens or an offensive lineman.

How Chicago Bears rookies Gordon and Brisker performed in Week 1

(CB) Kyler Gordon: PFF grade has Gordon at a 62.8 overall rating. He had an impressive six solo tackles. He gave up five receptions. One of those receptions he blew the coverage on, allowing wide receiver Jauan Jennings to have a significant gain on third down.(S) Jaquan Brisker: PFF grade has Brisker at a 61.2 overall rating. He only allowed one reception. Brisker had a huge fumble recovery in the Redzone.

How the Chicago Bears rookie peers performed in Week 1

Giants (WR) Wan’Dale Robinson: PFF grade has Robinson at a 75.4 overall rating. He caught one pass for five yards. Robinson’s day was cut short by a knee injury.Texans (WR) John Metchie III: Metchie will not be playing this season for health reasons.Patriots (WR) Tyquan Thornton: Did not play in Week 1 due to injury.Eagles (C) Cam Jurgens: Not much to report on Jurgens. He didn’t do enough to get on the stat sheet or grading sheet.Steelers (WR) George Pickens: PFF grade has Pickens at a 50.1 overall rating. He caught one pass for three yards. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky targeted Pickens three times in his debut.Colts (WR) Alec Pierce: PFF grade has Pierce at a 40.3 overall rating. Pierce had a rough start to his NFL career. He dropped a would-be-touchdown in Week 1.Chiefs (WR) Skyy Moore: PFF grade has Moore at an 80.4 overall rating. Moore only had one target for the Chiefs. He made the most of it by making a 30-yard completion.Buccaneers (OG) Luke Goedeke: PFF grade has Goedeke at a 49.6 overall rating. He gave up no sacks of Tom Brady in his first NFL start.Vikings (OG) Ed Ingram: PFF grade has Ingram at a 79.3 rating. Ingram struggled in the passing game but was spectacular in the Vikings’ rushing attack.Jaguars (C) Luke Fortner: PFF grade has Fortner at a 44.2 overall rating. Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson called Fortner’s performance “not great but good.”Patriots (G) Joshua Ezeudu: PFF grade has Ezeudu at a 50.3 overall rating. He allowed one sack in his first start. Ezeudu’s performance was much like Ingram’s, better in the run game than the pass.Titans (OT) Nicholas Petit-Frere: PFF grade has Petit-Frere at a 65.5 overall rating. He was impressive in the passing game for the Titans but earned a negative EPA grade in their rushing attack.

Poles did well with value in Week 1 for the Chicago Bears

Poles’ decision to take both Gordon and Brisker appears to be solid through the first week of the NFL regular season. We’ll see how this continues through the season as the wide receivers get more reps with the quarterbacks and the offensive linemen settle into their offensive schemes.

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