The Chicago Bears are just a week away from training camp but Gervon Dexter has already made an impact. The team selected him with the 53rd overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. The Bears have high hopes for his development.
Without starting training camp yet, Dexter has already made an impact. Practicing in OTAs and the veteran minicamp, he has impressed.
Being a rookie, Dexter is not a finished project, of course. He still needs some development. He likely begins the season as a backup. However, he has the talent to start right away. He will battle Justin Jones for the starting three-technique once training camp begins.
We already saw with this coaching staff that if a rookie shows he can handle himself he will receive an opportunity to win a starting job. Last season, there were four rookies who won starting jobs — left tackle Braxton Jones, cornerback Kyler Gordon, safety Jaquan Brisker, and punter Trenton Gill all spent the entire season as starters.
Of them, Jones was the biggest surprise. He was a fifth-round pick who worked hard and won the starting job. He ended up playing every offensive snap last season.
If Dexter shows he can do the same, he could find himself as a starter. It is great for rookies to know that if they work hard they have an actual chance of winning a job. We saw how messed up things were with former head coach Matt Nagy when he did not give quarterback Justin Fields at least an opportunity to work with the starters. He made his decision ahead of time.
When the starting quarterback, Andy Dalton, ended up getting injured, Fields had to step in. He had to go in cold without having to play with the starters, except for Darnell Mooney. There was a learning curve in having on-the-job training and it hurt Fields. Dexter doesn’t have to worry about that.
Dexter is already turning heads and the Chicago Bears are happy.
Dexter is already impressing both teammates and coaches alike. Even Jones, his competitor for the starting job, Even Jones, who is in competition with Dexter, is impressed and sees big things for him.
"I think he’s got some really, really strong hands and I think he knows ball. I think he knows he’s got a little bit to learn and how to use his size – you know, like every bit of it – but he’s going to be a force in this league."
The Bears also have Zacch Pickens, who they have high hopes for as well. They want the two to become a strong duo that clogs up the middle and makes the edge rushers’ lives easier. While many people around the league clamor for general manager Ryan Poles to look for an edge rusher, he is betting that a more solid interior will help.
Dexter is excited that with the Bears he gets to use his tools more effectively. When he was at the University of Florida, he was asked to react to what the guard did. With Chicago, he will be asked to attack more and move upfield. Despite his size, 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, he is athletic and quick. He can get past the blocker and get into the backfield quickly. Once there, he has the athleticism to take down either the quarterback or the running back.
It will be interesting and exciting to see Dexter at the start of his professional career. He has a lot of promise and if he fulfills it he will be a big part of the Chicago Bears defense for years to come.