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LAKE FOREST — The Bears traded with the Jaguars to select Tyrique Stevenson with the No. 56 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on Friday night. The Bears gave up No. 61 and No. 135 to move up. The cornerback from Miami will give the defense another boundary corner opposite of veteran Jaylon Johnson.
Last season at Miami, Stevenson finished with 25 total tackles, seven passes defensed and two interceptions. According to Pro Football Focus, he played 554 defensive snaps in 11 games and had 295 coverage snaps — allowing 17 receptions on 40 targets for 353 yards and giving up three touchdowns.
“I try to model my game a lot after Patrick Peterson,” Stevenson said in his Friday Zoom call. “I love how he’s a big corner. He’s able to get in and out of his breaks. He’s able to do athletic things. He was able to return and just showcase his athleticism, so I try to model my game after that.”
Stevenson met a few of the Bears coaches down in Mobile, Ala., while participating in the 2023 Senior Bowl. He was on the American Team, which was coached by Bears offensive coordiantor Luke Getsy. How Getsy coached stood out to Stevenson.
“That they were all about business,” Stevenson said. “They were all about doing everything the right way and always having a winning attitude. And just seeing them at the Senior Bowl gave me a lot of confidence when I met them and interacted with them.”
The 6-foot, 198-pound cornerback showed his ability to play physical at the line of scrimmage to make it difficult for opposing wide receivers to run clean routes.
Stevenson also met with the Bears on a 30 visit. There he met with various members in the Bears’ organization, including defensive coordinator Alan Williams and coach Matt Eberflus. Stevenson and Eberflus connected over the cornerback’s “old school” playing style. Stevenson was asked what exactly that meant.
“The fact that me and him talked and he was like ‘the only reason I’m on a 30 visit is because I play the game how it used to be played. Very tough and very physical.'”
As a rookie, Stevenson should be in line to compete for the outside cornerback spot opposite of Johnson. His main competition for the position right now is Kindle Vildor.
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