Jaylon Johnson's chances of making it to the Pro Bowl have suffered a setback.
BY V. CARBONNEAU DECEMBER 4, 2023 (12:40)
Despite being ranked third among cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus, it appears that Johnson has yet to make a significant impact in the eyes of NFL NextGen Stats, diminishing his chances of becoming a first-time Pro Bowl selection.
NFL NextGen Stats and NFL.com have identified the top 10 most likely first-time Pro Bowl players, along with honorable mentions, but Johnson's name doesn't appear on either list. This omission is quite surprising given his career-high and team-leading three interceptions, although it's worth noting that he missed a potential pick-6 opportunity against the Lions and Vikings. Additionally, he has recorded eight pass defenses this season.
In the previous month, Johnson set a personal goal to earn All-Pro recognition, a more challenging accomplishment than making the Pro Bowl since it is determined by the Associated Press and honors the top four players league-wide (two for the first team and two for the second team), without consideration for conferences.
Among the top 10 players most likely to make the Pro Bowl for the first time, only Dallas cornerback DaRon Bland represents the cornerback position. However, three cornerbacks did receive honorable mentions: Brandon Stephens of Baltimore, Darious Williams of Jacksonville, and Devon Witherspoon of Seattle.
While interceptions do carry weight in the selection process, as evidenced by Bland leading the league with eight interceptions, it's not the sole factor. Stephens has two interceptions, and Witherspoon has one, yet they made the list. Like Johnson, Williams has recorded three sacks.
This absence from the Pro Bowl consideration list does not appear to be influenced by a bias against the Bears. Notably, both D.J. Moore and Montez Sweat are among the top 10 contenders, with Moore ranked second behind Buffalo's Ed Oliver. Considering Moore's outstanding performance this season, it's somewhat perplexing that he has never been named a Pro Bowl player before.