Stevenson had an impressive rookie year (Kim Klement - USA Today Sports)
Stevenson had an impressive rookie year (Kim Klement - USA Today Sports)

Bears' 2023 draft class ranked in top 5 by ESPN

by - Senior Editor -

Chicago Bears Ryan Poles had an excellent 2023 NFL Draft acquiring a lot of talent besides getting standout receiver D.J. Moore in a trade with the Carolina Panthers.

ESPN's Aaron Schatz has the Bears as the fifth-best 2023 rookie draft class in his latest article.

"The Bears' rookie class started with the 10th overall pick, right tackle Darnell Wright. He started every game of his rookie season and ranks 25th among qualified tackles in pass block win rate (89.4%)," Schatz said. "He had an above-average run block win rate as well."

The Bears got some quality defensive backs in the draft.

"Then we have the two cornerbacks, second-round pick Tyrique Stevenson and fifth-round pick Terell Smith," Schatz said. Stevenson started all season … From Weeks 1 to 9, he put up 63% DVOA in coverage, one of the worst figures in the league. (Remember, a negative DVOA is better because you're stopping offensive success.) However, Stevenson completely turned things around in the second half of the year. His minus-60% DVOA in coverage since Week 10 was one of the best figures in the league. As for Smith, he had three starts and some play in nickel packages with a quality minus-15% DVOA allowed in coverage.

Several of the Bears picks played well when they got the opportunity.

"Finally, a few other rookies added value," Schatz said. "Undrafted quarterback Tyson Bagent … [gave] the Bears four starts in the middle of the season when Justin Fields was hurt. Second-round defensive tackle Gervon Dexter Sr. played 40% of defensive snaps with 2.5 sacks and 20 combined tackles. Fourth-round running back Roschon Johnson had 81 carries for 352 yards and two touchdowns, plus an additional 34 catches for 209 receiving yards. And undrafted safety Quindell Johnson and fifth-round linebacker Noah Sewell played important roles on special teams."

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