Why the Slide?: Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington

This series was created in response to questions about why certain well-known prospects went unselected in NFL drafts. For these articles, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. The positive response to “Why Undrafted” and questions from readers about why prospects were drafted lower than the media expectations led us to create the parallel series “Why the Slide?”

Both series are back this year. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.

During a lot of the 2022 pre-draft process, there were projections of Kyler Gordon going in the first round. Gordon was a polished cover corner for Washington and possesses a quality skill set of size, speed and athleticism. The Huskies have produced a lot of quality NFL corners in recent years, and Gordon looked poised to be a first-rounder alongside teammate Trent McDuffie. Gordon was one of the favorites to be the fourth corner off the board during the 2022 NFL Draft, but he slid well into the second round and was the sixth cornerback taken.

In speaking to team sources, Gordon slid to the second round because some evaluators felt he was only a fir for slot cornerback in the NFL. They did not feel he had the ability to line up outside at the pro level. Another reason why he slid was concern about his commitment to football. Some scouts were worried that Gordon is so focused on competitive dance that he might end his NFL career early to commit to dancing full time.

The Chicago Bears ended Gordon’s fall in the second round, and they were a quality landing spot. The Bears were in need of starting corner talent to go with Jaylon Johnson, so even if Gordon is a slot corner only. he could be a starter thanks to teams playing nickel on 70 percent or more of their defensive snaps. As long as Gordon stays focused on football and doesn’t end his career early, he should turn into a solid starter for Chicago.

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Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

NFL Picks - Feb. 12