CHICAGO – Jaquan Brisker was one of the top safeties heading into the 2022 NFL Draft and when you watch the tape, it’s easy to see why.
Brisker is a playmaker, a leader, and he is a versatile safety that isn’t limited to one specific role. He’s a physical, heavy-hitter that also has enough range to play deep and enough speed to play in space, at times. He can just about do it all, to an extent.
“I feel like I’m an old-school safety,” Brisker told reporters Friday. “I love being physical, but at the same time, I can show my versatility in the back end. I can attack the ball, I can cover, and then obviously in the box. I love to hit. I love to tackle and take on blocks.”
But that doesn’t mean Brisker doesn’t play favorites when it comes to what he likes to do on the field. And made that clear on the first day of rookie minicamp.
“I love being around the football, so I’d have to say being in the box,” Brisker said when asked about where he prefers to play. “Just because I can make tackles right there and things like that. But, if coach asks me to go back there [play free safety], I would.”
Ah, the box. Where legends are made when it comes to the physicality of the game. Brisker’s mentality is cherished in today’s game and he’s right – it’s a bit of an old school mentality.
But there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s football. It’s supposed to hurt.
Matt Eberflus sees it, too. And he knows what kind of value a player like Brisket holds.
“The hitting is there,” said Eberflus. “The old term that a lot of my mentors used to use is quickness, instincts and striking ability, and that’s what he has. Those things still are true today as they were years ago. He has those attributes and we’re excited where he is. What a positive energy guy, too. You can really feel the light coming out of him. It’s really good.”
Brisket’s play style makes sense when you hear him list the safeties he admired while growing up.
“Sean Taylor, Ronnie Lott, Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu – players, like that.”
Per Pro Football Focus, the Bears have over 300 box snaps to replace at the safety position from 2021. The departures of Teshaun Gipson Sr., Deon Bush, and Teez Tabor have left a rather sizable void in the Bears run defense.
Fortunately, Brisket is there to help fill that void. And, from the sound of things, he should do a pretty good job of doing so in 2022.
You can watch Brisker’s full press conference, below:
Featured image via Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports