It’s never a bad sign when Chicago Bears rookies show up at early practices. People will try to minimize it like it’s nothing to write home about. That’s what they said about Darnell Mooney in 2020. It’s also what they said about Braxton Jones last year. Never take these rumors for granted. Usually it is a sign that someone can play. Looks like someone else is getting off to a fast start during the first month of offseason practice. Unfortunately, it’s not any of the linemen like Darnell Wright or Gervon Dexter. There’s not much they can show without pads on.
However, this is the best time for wide receivers and defensive backs to show off their skills. One name has already become a nuisance to Bears quarterbacks.
This isn’t the first time Stevenson’s name has been mentioned in connection with big plays. He also did it during rookie minicamps. Miami’s second-round pick has gotten his hands on the ball multiple times. It’s not like Justin Fields was handing out gifts, either. Reports say that he was ready for most of practice. Stevenson just made an amazing play on the ball.
The Chicago Bears must be excited about the cornerback’s progress.
One thing about Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus is that they understand where the modern NFL game is headed. When it comes to playing good defense, it’s often the teams that invest in the cornerback position that are most successful. This regime has now spent three draft picks, including two second-rounders, on the job. 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 received some criticism from draft experts for their decision to trade Stevenson last month. They felt it wasn’t worth paying that extra price because of some harsh trends it showed in zone coverage in Miami. The Poles did not care. He felt the boy had all the necessary tools to thrive in Eberflus’ defensive scheme, from size and length to athleticism and physique. His nose for the ball is the icing on the cake. There’s a long way to go, but these early signs are exciting.