3 stats Chicago Bears fans must know about Terell Smith

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The Chicago Bears double-dipped at cornerback by adding Minnesota cornerback Terell Smith in the 2023 NFL draft. The move surprised some but showed that Ryan Poles will stick to his board of the best player available.

Being a day three player, some fans did not know about Terell Smith. What is the skinny on the Minnesota wide receiver?

3. Terell Smith was a one-year wonder at Minnesota

Terell Smith had an interesting path and journey to have made it to the NFL. First, he got on the field as a true freshman back in 2018. His play was up and down, but for a freshman it was solid. The issue is that he was benched in 2019. Due to the pandemic, he was just a depth player in 2020, and while he started to earn his role back in 2021, even that season was up and down.

Then, in 2022, it all came together. His career passer rating at Minnesota is 98, but it was 68 during his 2022. In the other four years, it was between 96 and 158. He had two of his four interceptions last season as well.

As a freshman, Smith allowed 1.2 yards per snap, and that shot up to 1.3 and then 2.1 when he was benched. In 2021, it was 1.6 yards per snap. In 2022, his yards per snap dropped to just one. It was by far the best season of his career. So, the question now is what took so long, and he is a one-year wonder or someone who can build off of that 2022 season.

2. Terell Smith will play outside for the Chicago Bears

Terell Smith played 1,660 snaps for Minnesota. Of those, he was an outside cornerback on 1.485 snaps. He played in the slot on just 21 of those snaps. That pretty much explains what he is going to do be doing.

Beyond that, Minnesota ran man coverage on 15% of their snaps last season. The Chicago Bears ran man about 10% more often, so he will have to adjust. Still, it is interesting to note that both cornerbacks they added are likely outside options.

The Chicago Bears had Kyler Gordon play outside and the slot last season, but with two new names competing on the outside, they may be looking to keep Kyler Gordon in the slot full-time.

1. Terell Smith gives Chicago Bears the athletic traits that they desire

When you look at the athletic profile of Terell Smith is interesting to see which athletic traits and which ones the Chicago Bears tend to desire. As you can see, he is someone who checks the boxes for height, weight, and length.

Tyrique Stevenson also had elite height, weight, and length, and even looking back to the cornerbacks who played for the Indianapolis Colts, such as Rock Ya-Sin, they had the same exact traits coming out of college.

Even Rock Ya-Sin and Tyrique Stevenson struggled in the 3-cone and 20-yard shuttle drills. This shows us what type of cornerback Matt Eberflus is looking for in the draft. The Bears are going to be a zone-heavy team, so he wants long cornerbacks who can press, but then jump back and read the quarterback and break on the ball. They do not need to be the most fluid with the change of direction over the middle of the field.

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This is interesting because Stevenson, Smith, and even Jaylon Johnson are big, long cornerbacks who can break and close on balls. At the same time, Kyler Gordon has below-average length and is much more of the quick-footed, shifty cornerback. This again can show us that the biggest takeaway from the Chicago Bears drafting Terell Smith is that they see Kyler Gordon as a slot-only player going forward.