Defensive coordinator Alan Williams believes that Bears top draft pick Kyler Gordon possesses the traits and mentally to excel in the NFL.
Selected in the second round at No. 39 overall, the athletic cornerback arrives after appearing in 33 games the past four seasons at Washington. A full-time starter for the first time last year, the 6-foot, 200-pounder was named first-team all-Pac 12 after establishing career highs with 46 tackles and nine pass breakups while recording his first two interceptions.
"First of all, it's his size," Williams said. "Thickness. He's not a frail guy, he's a thick guy. So, those attributes, and then the attributes that mom and daddy gave him. He has speed. He has the right temperament that we like. He is athletic. He runs. And then we look at the football IQ. He's instinctive.
"And then you go to the stuff that he did on tape. Sticky in coverage. At the top of his route, he stays connected. And then he finished plays, which is the most important thing that, at the moment of truth, he makes the play. There was a lot to like about the guy."
After playing for a program that has produced a slew of NFL defensive backs, Gordon is confident that he'll be able to make an impact as a rookie.
"I feel very prepared coming from Washington, just like everything that they taught me in the way that I prepare myself game-to-game and person-to-person," Gordon said. "I feel pretty good about going in there and shaking things up, for sure.
Wise man: Bears third-round pick Velus Jones Jr. is older than most rookies, but he doesn't consider that a negative. The explosive receiver and return specialist from Tennessee, who turns 25 on Wednesday, gained valuable experience returning for a sixth year of college football in 2021.
"It is a benefit because I'm coming in with maturity," Jones said. "I'm all about my business. I was young, but now that I'm older, I realize what's at stake, and this is the best job in the world.
"Like I said before, they're getting a guy that's mature. I don't care much about partying. I'm just coming in and I'm ready to establish a role on this team to help us win games. Definitely, my mind is screwed on right. And so they're definitely getting a mature guy that's all about his business and is going to help this team in any way possible."
History lesson: Coach Matt Eberflus tapped into the Bears' rich history by having former star cornerback Charles Tillman address the team during rookie minicamp.
"The message Tillman had was outstanding," Eberflus said, "just about being a pro, being a Chicago Bear and what that means to him and what it means to the fans and what it means to the city.
"To me, you can't have enough of that. I told Charles, 'pass the word around. Talk to the guys.' As you know, I texted a bunch of [former players] when I got the job. I've talked to several of them. They're all welcome to come in. We would love to see them. And we're excited about having guys like that around in the future."
Bad reception: When the Bears were about to draft Baylor running back Trestan Ebner in the sixth round last Saturday, he wasn't answering their calls.
"My phone wasn't working," Ebner said. "I'm from the country and so I was out in the country. We had a draft party and my agent was calling me, [saying]: 'Your phone's not working.' I'm like, 'I got your call this time,' but he was like, 'I called you three times!'"
Unable to reach Ebner, the Bears called his sister Tiana's phone. Fortunately, she was at the draft party and was getting reception. She answered the call and raced outside to give her phone to her brother.
"She told my agent, 'They might as well have picked me, at least my phone worked,'" Ebner said.
69 players, including the Bears' 2022 draft class, were on the fields at Halas Hall this weekend for three days of rookie minicamp practices.