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Bears rookie class eighth most productive in NFL

Bears rookie defensive backs Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon
Bears rookie defensive backs Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon

Two pro football analytics experts have ranked the Bears' 2022 rookie class as the eighth most productive in the NFL this season.

Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders and Alex Vigderman of Sports Info Solutions incorporated Sports Info Solutions' total points metric, which is based on game charting and involves every element of a play. That data is used to estimate how many points a player earned on offense or saved on defense. Adjustments were then made based on the importance of certain positions and how well players scored in ESPN tracking metrics and Football Outsiders' DVOA.

The Bears were the only team in the top 10 that did not have a first-round pick in the 2022 draft. Here's a complete list of their selections:

Table inside Article
Round-OverallPlayerPositionSchool
2-39Kyler GordonCBWashington
2-48Jaquan BriskerSPenn State
3-71Velus Jones Jr.WRTennessee
5-168Braxton JonesOTSouthern Utah
5-174Dominique RobinsonOLBMiami (OH)
6-186Zachary ThomasOTSan Diego State
6-203Trestan EbnerRBBaylor
6-207Doug KramerCIllinois
7-226Ja'Tyre CarterGSouthern
7-254Elijah HicksSCalifornia
7-255Trenton GillPNorth Carolina State

Brisker, Braxton Jones and undrafted linebacker Jack Sanborn were all selected to the Pro Football Focus 2022 NFL All-Rookie Team. In addition, Braxton Jones was named to the Pro Football Writers of America 2022 NFL All-Rookie Team, and Brisker was chosen as the Bears rookie MVP by ChicagoBears.com.

Brisker started all 15 games he played, compiling 104 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, a team-leading 4.0 sacks, one interception, two pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Jones opened all 17 games for an offense that led the NFL in rushing.

Sanborn excelled after becoming a starter following the midseason trade of linebacker Roquan Smith to the Ravens. Before sustaining a season-ending ankle injury in a Week 15 loss to the Eagles, Sanborn made six consecutive starts and recorded 59 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, 2.0 sacks and one fumble recovery.

Gordon, Velus Jones Jr., Robinson, Ebner, Hicks and Gill were also regular contributors for the Bears, who totaled the most games played (206) and snaps (6,721) by rookies of any NFL team.

Gordon started all 14 games he played, compiling 71 tackles, three interceptions, six pass breakups, two tackles-for-loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Velus Jones Jr. appeared in 12 games with two starts. He caught seven passes for 107 yards and one touchdown, rushed for 103 yards and one TD on nine carries and averaged 27.6 yards on 22 kickoff returns with a long of 63 yards.

Robinson, Ebner, Hicks and Gill all played in all 17 contests.

Robinson registered 30 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two tackles-for-loss and two pass breakups. Ebner rushed for 54 yards on 24 carries and averaged 22.6 yards on 10 kickoff returns. Hicks generated 20 tackles on defense and seven on special teams. And Gill posted a gross average of 46.0 yards on 66 punts and a 40.3-yard net average that was the third best in Bears history.

Carter appeared in three contests, seeing his only action on offense in the season finale when he played 31 snaps against the Vikings.

In addition, undrafted rookies Josh Blackwell and Jaylon Jones excelled on special teams in 2022, registering a team-high 11 tackles and seven stops, respectively.

Check out the best photos of the season—taken by Bears photographers—featuring the 2022 rookie class.

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