Bears scouts go in-depth on draft picks in YouTube video
Bears scouts go in-depth on rookies in YouTube video originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Between the draft and Bears rookie minicamp, we’ve heard a whole lot about the athleticism and traits of almost all the newcomers. The words “length,” “strength” and “speed” were repeated after nearly every selection as it quickly became clear what Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus coveted in their draft picks.
On Wednesday, the Bears shed a little more light on what drew them to their first eight picks. The team released a video on their YouTube channel where scouts shared a favorite play, or some additional insight on why the team ultimately picked each guy.
First was Ryan Cavanaugh on Darnell Wright.
“Just really quick, easy mover off the line of scrimmage,” Cavanaugh said while reviewing tape of Wright blocking No. 3 overall pick Will Anderson. “Shows great balance and body control. Good timing with his hands, good strength to stop the charge.
“The best thing about his game is just the combination of his athleticism with power and punch.”
Much has been made about Gervon Dexter’s “get off” at the snap, but the Bears believe that by asking Dexter to shoot one gap, rather than taking on two gaps like he did in Florida, he can be more explosive. Further, the Bears believe Dexter can be a force in the middle who helps his teammates even if he isn’t stuffing the stat sheet himself.
“This is a 300-pound center that he’s taking on,” said Breck Ackley. “He’s naturally shedding, locking out and then at the same time he’s taking the quarterback down with him… It’s just a natural football player with the ability to play square and fight through blocks and make plays behind the line of scrimmage.
“The thing he's going to bring for us is, his size and his ability to do this inside, you’ll notice it’s going to help everybody else out. Even if he doesn’t make the play, he’s going to eat up blockers.”
The first thing anyone notices about Tyrique Stevenson is his size and his success in press man coverage. Some had questions about Stevenson’ ability to play in zone concepts, though. Stevenson showed he can succeed playing in those schemes during rookie minicamp, and the Bears pointed to an interception he made against Georgia Tech as a reason they were confident he could pull it off.
“What really separates Tyrique on this play is really the combination of the instincts and the eye,” said Brendan Rehor. “Just the ability to come off the initial route, kind of have that sixth sense to pick up the tight end on the wheel route, locate the ball, get his head around, high point, make a game-changing play.”
RELATED: Stevenson proves to be quick study at rookie minicamp
Zacch Pickens played a lot of snaps at three-tech during rookie minicamp, and once again the Bears pointed to his length and strength for a reason he could be successful. Trey Koziol explained how Pickens uses his length to win.
“He uses that length to do what we call a swat move, which is just swiping that guard’s hands down,” Koziol said. “As soon as he swipes the guard’s hands down, all of a sudden he’s able to capture the edge, where it’s nice to see a big man with the ability to bend.”
You don’t have to watch much Texas tape to notice Roschon Johnson’s physical play. But his special teams work was a big selling point for the Bears, too. Not only is Johnson a willing special teams contributor, he’s effective in nearly every phase. John Syty elaborated on one kickoff coverage play in particular.
“You’re going to see him get out, you’re gonna get a chance to see some of his speed early, he’s going to recognize a double team coming his way, he’s going to beat that, he’s going to come off the backside of the block, then he’s going to make a perfect form fit tackle.”
RELATED: Everybody loves Roschon: New Bears RB impresses at camp
Tyler Scott is a burner and the thought is he can help the Bears as a deep threat. Cavanaugh explained why there’s more than just speed to Scott’s game.
“He’s got really good ball skills. He’s confident downfield. He really competes for the ball and he’s strong at the catch point. He didn’t drop a ball at his pro day. It was excellent.”
The big talking point for Noah Sewell has been his success rushing the passer as a linebacker. Reese Hicks doesn’t see Sewell as a one-trick pony though, even though Sewell’s production took a step back in 2022.
“Something I really like about the player is the instincts and the quick trigger in the run game. You see him diagnose quickly and make a play on the running back. Good explosion on contact.
“Physicality in the box isn’t an issue for him just because he is such a physical player. Tough player inside.”
Finally, Koziol wrapped up the video by talking about Terell Smith. He’s another long and strong cornerback, but the Bears see rare ability for a player his size.
“For a taller guy, how he’s able to flip his hips, open up, then get his head around to find the ballー a lot of guys when they turn here, their head gets stuck or they play back through the receiver. It’s a difficult thing for him to do, to be able to locate the ball like that, and turn around and finish in the endzone for any interception.
“That’s one of the things that kinda makes him unique, is that for a taller guy they asked him to do a lot of off coverage and bail-type techniques, which is tough for someone who’s longer-levered.”
We’ll get our next look at the Bears rookies when they kick off OTAs on May 22.
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