If the Chicago Bears can replicate what they got from former 2022 NFL Draft No. 48 overall pick Jaquan Brisker from rookie Tyrique Stevenson who was taken eight slots later in the 2023 NFL Draft, they will be happy. And, if two-time Pro Bowler Eddie Jackson is right, that is exactly what they have.
Bears Rookie ‘Reminds Me of Jaquan Brisker’, Says Eddie Jackson
Tyrique Stevenson Impressing From Day 1
“You see it from Day 1, the type of guy he is,” Jackson said of Stevenson, per the Bears’ YouTube channel after the first day of mandatory minicamp on June 13.
“He just kind of reminds me of Brisker – the mindset. He’s coming out there, young guy, don’t care. Years in the league, that don’t matter. He’s just going to come out there and ball and play. And right now I feel like he’s stepping up to the plate.”
Brisker made a strong early impression on his coaches, teammates, and even the media.
He finished his rookie campaign with two pass deflections, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery, and tied for second among secondary players with 4.0 sacks.
Don’t try this at home. 9🖤🏹🏹🏹 https://t.co/izrrYaflIh
— Quanny B. (@JaquanBrisker) June 13, 2023
If the Bears are already getting that same sense from Stevenson, that can only bode well for a defense that ranked 32nd in net passing yards allowed per attempt in 2022. The 6-foot Stevenson only picked off three passes in his collegiate career but he also deflected 11 passes over the last two seasons including seven just this past year.
The first step is putting in the effort when few are watching.
Tyrique Stevenson Following a Similar Path as Kyler Gordon
“He’s accepted the challenge,” Jackson said. He’s locked in…And he’s going out there and doing his job and making plays. And that’s what you want to see from a young guy like that – a high pick at that, too.”
In two years, general manager Ryan Poles has had four second-round picks. He’s used three of them on the secondary.
The first of those picks was Stevenson’s fellow corner, Kyler Gordon who will be allowed to stay in the slot with the rookie’s arrival. Gordon struggled early on with penalties and overaggressiveness but his overall talent showed with his six pass deflections, three interceptions, one forced fumble, and one recovery in 14 games.
He acknowledged some frustration last season having to switch between the slot and perimeter.
The man tasked with helping him, Bears secondary coach Jon Hoke, has certainly not been grading Stevenson on a curve.
Play of the day: Rookie CB Tyrique Stevenson intercepting Justin Fields.
But assistant Jon Hoke wasn’t satisfied because Stevenson didn’t catch it cleanly. Still, Hoke said Stevenson is showing an ability to jump routes and pick up concepts quickly.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) June 1, 2023
“II feel like Coach Hoke, he challenges him a lot,” Jackson said. “I know sometimes you probably get a little frustrated. But like I told him that’s gonna all pay off in the end.”
Eddie Jackson’s Long Road Back
Jackson suffered a Lisfranc injury in his foot that cost him the final five weeks of the 2022 season. He noted his arduous path back to the field which he said included no real vacation during the offseason.
“Me, [Darnell] Mooney, Jack [Sanborn], we didn’t have a summer vacation,” said Jackson. “It’s been all work for us. It just shows how committed we is to getting back and getting this thing turned around, and I feel like we got the good pieces, they added a lot of good pieces to this team to be able to accomplish that.”
Mooney is “progressing” from his offseason ankle surgery, per head coach Matt Eberflus while the head coach said Sanborn is expected to be ready for training camp.
They were still without Chase Claypool who is managing “multiple minor issues”, per Eberflus.