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Bears pick safety Jaquan Brisker at No. 48 in Round 2


After drafting Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon at No. 39 in the second round, the Bears addressed their secondary again at No. 48, choosing Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker.

Brisker, 23, appeared in 34 games with 21 starts over the past three seasons for the Nittany Lions, registering 152 tackles, 7.0 tackles-for-loss, five interceptions and 19 pass breakups.

Last season the 6-1, 199-pounder was named first-team All-Big Ten and second-team All-American after playing in 12 games and generating 63 tackles, 3.0 tackles-for-loss, two interceptions and seven pass breakups.

"You're talking about a big guy that's physical," said Bears area scout Chris Prescott. "We like his toughness. We like his ball skills … [He's] got speed, range, ball skills, plus he brings the physical side of the game that we like. With 'Flus' (coach Matt Eberflus) and his defense wanting to be a physical team, [Brisker] also brings that aspect of it, too."

Brisker began his college career at Lackawanna College, playing there in 2017-18. He was selected with a draft pick acquired last month as part of a trade that sent outside linebacker Khalil Mack to the Chargers.

"This moment is just really unbelievable," he said during a video call with the Chicago media. "It's crazy, but I'm really thankful and humbled that I'm a Chicago Bear. Just coming from junior college, I'm just showing those guys what it's like to handle the standard, to keep the standard the same, and what it's like to do everything right. I'm just very excited right now. It's unbelievable. It hasn't even really soaked in yet."

Here's how analyst Lance Zierlein described Brisker:

"Athletic safety prospect whose versatility and toughness will endear him to coaches during the evaluation process. Brisker continued to pick up elements of the defensive scheme and his play has steadily transformed from hesitant in 2019 to downright instinctive in 2021. He has the versatility to become a moving chess piece in a variety of coverages and has the size and talent to match up with both 'Y' and 'F' tight ends. He played with a banged-up shoulder in 2021 so his 2020 tape is a clearer indicator of his run support acumen. Brisker is an ascending talent with the NFL traits to become a long-time starter as a Day 2 draft pick."

The Bears were impressed with the leadership and intangibles that Brisker demonstrated at Penn State.

"That's obviously a big part," Prescott said, "when you can get a guy who you know represents kind of what we're all about here as far as the culture goes and what we're looking for … It's really good when those two match when you get a really talented kid who's a good person."

The Bears feel that Brisker is capable of playing both deep in coverage as well as in the box close to the line of scrimmage.

"He's kind of a good chess piece I guess you would say," Prescott said. "He can come up and he can play the run. He can fit in there and then he can also revert and flip him back because he's got enough speed and range and good enough eyes to where you can go locate the ball and play the ball well on the back end. So, he can be the post player or you can move him down and play him in the box."

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