Bears rookie minicamp observations: Tyrique Stevenson shines against Tyler Scott

LAKE FOREST — Bears rookies took to the field at Halas Hall for the first time in their NFL careers on Friday when rookie minicamp kicked off in Lake Forest.

There’s not much to learn from practice without padding in May. First-round pick Darnell Wright showed his athleticism in individual drills, showing he can get out fast in the wide-area running scheme. We got our first look at how second-round pick Gervon Dexter and third-round pick Zacch Pickens might be rolled out (more on that a bit later), but the other Day 2 pick caught my eye. attention.

Cornerback Tyrique Stevenson has been touted as a tall, long and physical press corner coming out of Miami. It lived up to billing on day 1.

On Friday, Stevenson lined up against fast fourth-round rookie Tyler Scott on several occasions and covered for the Cincinnati product.

Stevenson and Scott practiced together during the pre-draft process, so 22-year-old Stevenson would understand just how explosive Scott is on the outside.

Stevenson showed that his length and physique could neutralize even top speed.

“You just go in there with your mentality,” Stevenson said of facing a guy with 4.29 speed. “At the end of the day, you have to make him do things that he’s not used to doing. If he’s got 4.2 speed, you have to get him off his line. You have to make him do something out of the ordinary. When you approach him, that’s all you need to think about – just doing different things to get him out of his comfort zone.

Stevenson lined up against Scott four times (by my count). If it was a boxing match, Stevenson would have won by knockout.

“Certainly well done,” Stevenson said. “I know he’s fast and I know he’s fast. The fact that I can get my hands on him multiple times has kind of confused him. I’m a bit taller than him so I don’t want to let him touch me. But he definitely did good with his offline releases. He gave me work today and I gave him work today.

Unpadded practices in May mean nothing. But as far as first impressions go, there was no better day than the one Tyrique Stevenson had on Friday.

RELATED: Why Dexter Might Be More Successful With Bears Than He Was In Florida

Here are more notes from Day 1 of the rookie minicamp:

– The Bears used two Day 2 picks on defensive tackles Gervon Dexter Sr. and Zacch Pickens. The plan is for Pickens and Dexter to be part of a wave of defensive linemen that head coach Matt Eberflus and defensive coordinator Alan Williams can launch on opposing offenses.

Both Pickens and Dexter are big, strong, long, powerful and explosive tackles with the athleticism to penetrate and wreak havoc. Pickens showed this skill more in college than Dexter, who often looks slow.

On Friday, Pickens and Dexter alternated between the three technique and one technique, but Pickens seemed to get a lot more time at the three technique point. Pickens blasted the ball and blew up the attacking plane several times. Dexter was quick on the ball at first but slowed down as practice continued. He made a pass at the line of scrimmage.

The size of Dexter and Pickens is impressive. The Bears have been atrocious against the run in 2022. Adding big tackles that can stop the run and dent the pocket should allow the Bears to get more creative with their cover disguises.

– Rookie running back Roschon Johnson is known for his physical running style, something he can’t show in practices without padding. With the pads not activating for some time, Johnson plans to focus on the mental part of the game for now.

“I would say for someone who just learned about the attack,” Johnson said. “Graphing everything and taking it one day at a time. Just playing mindlessly and trying to work up to that point so I can finally play fast when the pads come on.”

When asked if he likes to “punish defenders”, Johnson left no doubt.


MORE: Bears outline Wright’s critical goals in offseason program

– Fifth-round rookie cornerback Terell Smith had some fun with the coaching staff on Day 1 when he intercepted a pass intended for Jacob Harris late in the day.

– Fourth-round pick Tyler Scott started his day returning punts before joining the offense for 7-for-7 and 11-for-11.

The Junior Olympian knows he was brought to Chicago to be quarterback Justin Fields’ ideal weapon. Scott is a big-play receiver whose vertical ability should add an explosive dimension to the Bears passing offense.

“Just looking at the last few years he’s here, his ability to play,” Scott said of Fields. “For me, they hire me because I have a skill set that they like and that I feel I can bring to my table. A lot of people talk about my speed and deep threat ability. I know he likes to throw the ball pretty deep so be just another weapon.

“At the end of the day, it’s my job to make it easy for him and make him great. Like one of my coaches said, put his name in the paper.”

–Northwest running back Andrew Clair showed his elusiveness with a sneaky run during practice that lasted 20 yards in minicamp.

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