One of the more memorable moments from the Chicago Bears 2023 NFL draft weekend was the selection of Tyrique Stevenson. The Bears traded up, in front of the New York Giants, for the cornerback from Miami.
New York Giants were shocked when Chicago Bears did this in 2023 NFL draft
Plenty of fans, and media at the time were wondering if the pick actually was for John Michael-Schmitz. The Bears appeared to need help at center, they had an interest in JMS pre-draft, and JMS was with Stevenson at the Senior Bowl, along with the Chicago Bears coaches.
Apparently, more than just the fans were surprised when the Chicago Bears did not take John Michael-Schmitz. The New York Giants' entire war seemed to be stunned quiet at the idea that the Bears just jumped them for their future center.
In the video, you can see that Brian Daboll is almost resigned to the idea that they would be taking Jalin Hyatt and not JMS. The room felt for sure that the Bears would go center. Look at the response of GM Joe Schoen when the pick came across. He said cornerback as if he was as surprised as many fans.
It was an interesting time to make the move because the Giants had taken Deonte Banks in the first round, so they were not taking a cornerback. The Cowboys and Buffalo Bills appear to be set at cornerback, and the Bengals did take a cornerback at pick 60. So, they moved up five spots, but three of the four teams that they jumped probably were not going to take a cornerback at all. It does make you wonder if the Bengals would have taken Stevenson, or if they had eyes on DJ Turner the whole time. They did draft Dax Hill, the Michigan teammate of Turner a year prior.
If that is the case then you have to wonder if the Bears had to make that trade up at all.
One thing that you can see from this is that the Bears will stick to their board and take the best player available. By the looks of the board and the way that they moved up, they just had Stevenson graded much higher than the slot of the draft that they were at. The value to move up was worth it because it was such a surplus of value for the player.
Still, we will always be wondering if the Chicago Bears missed their center of the future. We will see what happens with both John Michael-Schmitz and Tyrique Stevenson.