Bears second-round draft pick Jaquan Brisker ‘Chess Piece’ at Safety – NBC Chicago
Bears consider Jaquan Brisker a high school ‘chess piece’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Few predicted that Bear would pick a safety with one of his two second-round picks on Thursday, but when Jaquan Brisker was available at No. 48, Ryan Poles couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The Poles have praised Brisker’s ability on the pitch and the intangibles off the pitch that make him the exact type of player the team are trying to target as they reshape the organization.
“Really, everything you’ve heard myself and Matt (Eberflus) talk about in the last few months, he’s got that in him,” Poles said.
Bears scout Chris Prescott went a little deeper, describing the traits the team liked when evaluating Brisker.
“You’re talking about a big guy who’s physical,” Prescott said. “You know we love his toughness, we love his ball skills. I actually saw him plav against Maryland, I think he had a pick in that game and a PBU in that game. A guy who I think has speed, range, ball skills and he brings the physical side to the game that we love. Obviously with Flus and his defence, obviously wanting to be a physical team, he also brings that aspect too.
But one of the Bears’ greatest assets is Brisker’s versatility. That’s something that came with the team’s three picks on Friday. Kyler Gordon can play in the inside or outside corner. The team envisions Velus Jones as a Swiss army knife on offense and a hard-hitting contributor on special teams. And Brisker has the ability to move across the terrain safely. According to PFF, Brisker has taken 668 deep-aligned shots, 690 box shots and 332 slot shots, over the past three seasons.
“He’s sort of a good chess piece, I guess you would say,” Prescott said. “Lots of moving parts. You can play him close to the line of scrimmage and he can go up and he can play the run. He can fit in there and then he can also go back and turn it over because he has enough speed and range and enough good eyes to locate the ball and play the ball well out the back.
By moving Brisker back and forth, defensive coordinator Alan Williams can try to confuse opposing quarterbacks. Deception is key in the NFL, and that ability to move on after the break can hint at infractions. But it’s really Brisker’s athletic ability that allows him to be successful no matter where he lines up, as he doesn’t present himself as a staggering opportunity when playing in the box.
“Obviously you know you’re getting more tight ends (in the box),” Prescott said. “You get a guy who can probably go man to man with tight ends if you want to… it’s not like he’s going to get killed in the running game. So I think it’s important, that versatility to really fit into the running game and obviously give you the versatility to actually cover the tight end.
Poles described Brisker as a “starting caliber” player, and Prescott added that he thought his skills would complement those of Eddie Jackson. The Bears probably won’t give Brisker the starting job just yet, but they’ll have plenty of eyes on him lined up next to Jackson this summer.