It’s never a bad sign when Chicago Bears rookies are showing out in early practices. People will try to downplay it as nothing to write home about. That is what they said about Darnell Mooney in 2020. It’s also what they said about Braxton Jones last year. Never take these rumblings for granted. It is usually a sign somebody can play. It appears somebody else is getting off to a fast start through the first month of off-season practices. Unfortunately, it’s not any of the linemen like Darnell Wright or Gervon Dexter. There isn’t much they can show without pads on.
However, this is prime time for wide receivers and defensive backs to showcase their skill. One name has already made himself a nuisance to the Bears’ quarterbacks.
This isn’t the first time Stevenson’s name has been mentioned in connection to big plays. He did it during rookie minicamps too. The 2nd round pick out of Miami has gotten his hands on the football several times. It’s not like Justin Fields was handing out gifts, either. Reports say he was sharp most of the practice. Stevenson just made an impressive play on the ball.
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The Chicago Bears have to be excited about the cornerback’s progress.
One thing about Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus is they understand where the modern NFL game is going. When it comes to playing good defense, it’s often the teams that invest at cornerback who have the most success. This regime has now spent three draft picks, including two 2nd rounders, on the position. Kyler Gordon already showed promise last year with three interceptions. Jaylon Johnson is firmly established as a reliable starter. If Stevenson can build on this early success, the Bears could end up with one of the best young secondaries in the league.
The Chicago Bears caught some flak from draft experts for their decision to trade up for Stevenson last month. They felt he wasn’t worth paying that extra price because of some rough tendencies he showed in zone coverage at Miami. Poles didn’t care. He felt the kid had every tool necessary to thrive in Eberflus’ defensive scheme, from size and length to athleticism and physicality. His nose for the ball is the icing on the cake. There is a long way to go, but these early signs are exciting.