The roster battle to start opposite Jaylon Johnson and Kyler Gordon
The other major roster competition in training camp is to see who will start at cornerback opposite Jaylon Johnson and Kyler Gordon. Johnson has emerged as one of the best cover corners in the NFL. He is hoping to get a contract extension from the Chicago Bears, but he needs to start taking the ball away.
Gordon had a solid rookie season last year. He is moving over to the nickel corner.
That leaves rookies Tyrique Stevenson and Terrell Smith to battle it out to see who will start as the outside corner opposite of Jaylon Johnson.
Stevenson was taken in the second round while Smith was selected in the fifth round.
Most training camp accounts have been mixed on Stevenson. He has some impressive plays during camp.
Otherwise, he has been having to deal with D.J. Moore and Chase Claypool in practice. Both receivers are having an outstanding camp and making life difficult for the youngster. On the positive side, this is helping the rookie get better.
Smith has gotten some practice reps with the starters and has looked impressive. Although, he was held out of practice on Tuesday to nurse an injury.
If he can go on Saturday, both players need to get a lot of reps. It is not just for the experience, but also to see who will be the starter.
No matter who wins the starting job, both are going to make their rookie mistakes. Gordon went through it last season.
The key is whether can they learn from their mistakes. First, let’s see if they are worthy of a starting job because of their play and not because of their draft status.