Miami football alum Tyrique Stevenson was named by ESPN as the Chicago Bears’ “Surprise offseason standouts for 32 NFL teams: Players to watch.” ESPN Chicago Bears’ beat Courtney Cronin wrote that Stevenson has quickly grasped the Bears’ defense and is primed to be a starter when Chicago opens the 2023 season.
Stevenson was one of the highest-graded cornerbacks in college football during the 2022 season. In two seasons with the Miami football program, Stevenson had 68 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, three interceptions and 11 passes defended after transferring from Georgia during the 2021 offseason.
Chicago selected Stevenson in the second round, 56th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. Stevenson transferred to the Miami football program to play more snaps as an outside CB. Georgia played Stevenson primarily in the slot. The stock for Stevenson improved after a stellar week during practice at the Senior Bowl.
Stevenson is one of five defensive backs and two CBs that Chicago has selected in the last two NFL Drafts. Kyler Gordon was a second-round pick by the Bears in the 2022 NFL Draft. ESPN lists Stevenson ahead of Gordon on their depth chart. Cronin wrote the summary of Stevenson as a player to watch.
"Chicago Bears CB Tyrique Stevenson“This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given Stevenson was drafted in the second round, but the rookie quickly grabbed hold of first-team reps this spring and looks primed to start opposite Jaylon Johnson.The former Miami standout’s confidence is “a little bit ahead” of that of a typical rookie, according to coach Matt Eberflus, which has helped solidify the Bears’ secondary. The corner made a handful of plays, including an interception in OTAs, while impressing coaches with how fast he has picked up the defense.“Really excited about how in two days he’s kind of figured out some of the concepts we try to teach and understand those,” cornerbacks coach Jon Hoke said. — Courtney Cronin”"
Chicago had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL in 2023. The Bears were last in the NFL allowing 7.7 yards per attempt. Stevenson will provide length and toughness at 6’0 and 214 pounds. The productive Senior Bowl week and so far positive showing in OTA show Stevenson is ready for the NFL.
Miami defensive backs have been productive in recent years. Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine have both been contributors during their NFL careers. The maturity that Stevenson is showing is a testament to Miami defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae developing the Miami secondary.
D.J. Ivey has also reportedly been performing well in OTAs and rookie camp for the Cincinnati Bengals after they selected him in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. Ivey has put himself in position to make the Cincinnati roster. Playing well on special teams could determine if Ivey makes the Bengals.