October 03, 2023

Bears Analysis

Top 25 most important Bears in 2022: No. 12 Jaquan Brisker

Chicago Bears defensive back Jaquan Brisker warms up with teammates May 17 at Halas Hall in Lake Forest.

Shaw Local is counting down the top 25 most important Bears for the 2022 season.

What makes one player more important than another? That’s subjective, of course. But for our purposes it comes down to this: Are the Bears worse off if this player can’t play? Does this player have untapped potential or past greatness to live up to? Is his story going to be one fans follow closely this season?

For example, Justin Fields might not be the best player on the Bears in 2022 (or maybe he will be), but he certainly is among the most important.

No. 12 Jaquan Brisker

Position: Safety

NFL experience: Rookie

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Looking back: It wasn’t too much of a surprise when new Bears general manager Ryan Poles selected a cornerback, Kyler Gordon, with his first draft pick in April. The Bears drafted Gordon in the second round with the 39th overall pick. It was a surprise, however, when the Bears went back to the secondary with their second pick at 48th overall and selected safety Jaquan Brisker out of Penn State. Poles said later that night that the Bears had a chance to pick up two surefire starters for their defense. That was an opportunity too good to pass up.

Brisker comes to Chicago after three seasons as a ball-hawking safety for the Nittany Lions. In three seasons, he had five interceptions and 14 passes defended. He grew up near Pittsburgh and started his college career at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pennsylvania, before transferring to his dream school. The Bears drafted Brisker with a second-round pick they acquired in the trade for former pass rusher Khalil Mack.

Looking forward: The Bears believe Brisker could be just what this secondary needs. An aggressive safety like Brisker should give veteran safety Eddie Jackson the freedom to do what he does best – play deep and keep the whole field in front of him. With Gordon and Brisker both likely jumping into the starting lineup, the secondary could be the Bears’ most improved position group.

Brisker should fit right into head coach Matt Eberflus’ 4-3 defensive scheme. He will likely step up into the box more than Jackson. Brisker isn’t afraid to guard a tight end or a bigger receiver if necessary. He has already impressed his coaches with his eagerness to punch at the football. For a defense that didn’t create nearly enough turnovers in 2021, that is exactly what the Bears need. If Brisker has the type of rookie season the Bears think he is capable of, there’s reason to be optimistic about this year’s defense.

In case you missed it: Previous installments of the top 25

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.