It seems Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles was on a mission during the NFL Draft to fortify a once vaunted defense, and just may have found a building block former Penn State standout Jaquan Brisker.
Brisker, chosen by the Bears with the No. 48 overall pick in the third-round, out of Penn State Football, made his presence known immediately during Chicago’s preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
In front of the home crowd, Brisker produced four tackles, one tackle for loss, and broke up a pass.
Basically, a little bit of everything Brisker put on film during his time on the back-end of the Nittany Lions‘ defense for three seasons.
From State College, Penn State Football head coach James Franklin wasn’t surprised that Brisker stole the show in his exhibition debut.
“Some guys are elite in the passing game but average against the run, or vice-versa,” Franklin told Heavy’s Matt Lombardo. “Jaquan has a chance to be special in both.”
Beyond proving that the speed of the NFL game isn’t too much for him, Brisker more importantly proved to his teammates that they can rely on him, in big moments.
“He played well,” Bears linebacker Nicholas Morrow said, following the game. “The thing with Jaquan is, as you saw, as the game went on, his confidence grew. I think that’s an awesome thing to see. You saw his confidence grow, and a playmaker came out.”
Brisker, of course, was a three-year starter at Penn State Football, and made some huge plays in the biggest moments of games, including sealing the Nittany Lions’ road win to open the 2021 campaign with a red-zone interception.
But, proving as a rookie that the lights aren’t too bright and that you can be counted on, is a huge first impression for the Bears’ safety.
Franklin believes not only did Poles find a playmaker to anchor Chicago’s secondary, but a culture-drive for the Bears, as well.
“Jaquan is very coachable,” Franklin explained. “He’s humble, driven to be great, and football is really important to him. Obviously, he has great physical traits, but what makes him so special is how much he loves the game and how great he wants to be at it.”