The Chicago Bears traded up a few picks to make sure that they landed Miami cornerback Tyrique Stevenson. There was conviction in the pick, showing he was clearly the best player on their board. So, now the question is what makes him so special that the team would be so high on him in the 2023 NFL draft?
3. Tyrique Stevenson played the slot and outside
Tyrique Stevenson entered college as one of the highest-recruited players in the country. He started his journey at the University of Georgia. Of course, he entered a loaded depth chart, so he was not going to get on the field early in his career. However, he was so talented that the Bulldogs wanted to use his skill set. So, they moved him into the slot.
As a sophomore, he technically was playing the STAR role, which is essentially a slot/dime type of role where he is in the box as a hybrid cornerback. He was fine in the role, but it was clear that he saw himself as an outside cornerback. Georgia wanted him to stick in that role, so he transferred to Miami.
He spent the last two seasons on the outside, and his NFL draft stock was back to where it was when he started his journey. For his career, he has 1,775 snaps with 1,068 in coverage. He has 661 in run defense and 46 as a pass rusher.
Of those snaps, he played 610 in the slot, and 1,156 outside, but the majority of those slot snaps were in 2020. The Chicago Bears probably view him as an outside cornerback. Kyler Gordon played in the slot last year, and that is probably now going to be closer to his home.
Stevenson was better on the outside last season, and he left Georgia because he preferred to play on the outside. As of now, you should expect to see Stevenson and Jaylon Johnson outside and Kyler Gordon in the slot in nickel looks. In base, Gordon and Stevenson can compete on the outside.