Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson heads into the 2022 campaign searching to turn heads.
"I'm already one of the top corners," he told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I just haven't had the stats to back that up in terms of interceptions. But if we're talking about strictly limiting guys, covering guys, I don't think there's too many guys in this league that can cover better than me.
"It's more so about the media, especially going into my third year and having an opportunity to restructure a contract. I feel like that plays a part, in that respect. But I know for a fact across the league that my name is respected. People know what I can do."
Johnson believes his lack of interceptions has kept him from being named among the NFL's best cover corners. He has just one INT in two seasons in Chicago. But Johnson said coaches and players around the NFL know how good he is.
"They've told me," Johnson said. "I'm not making this up. ... After every game, head coaches, quarterbacks, receivers will say, 'Hey, bro, I respect your game.' It's not just something that I think I have."
Corners must have the type of confidence Johnson boasts. Otherwise, they'll be torched to no end. So it's no surprise that the 23-year-old speaks with such self-assurance.
Johnson will have a chance to prove those words out of the gate when the Bears open up the 2022 season against the San Francisco 49ers and star receiver Deebo Samuel.
"To go against him and showcase what I can do is another step in the right direction for me," Johnson said.
The Bears don't boast a ton of leftover talent from the previous regime, but the former second-round pick can prove he's a keeper with a stellar season in Matt Eberflus' system.