Sunday, June 9, 2024

Gervon Dexter Projected To Take A Giant Production Leap This Season


People were concerned about the Chicago Bears’ decision not to invest more heavily in the defensive line this off-season. One can make a strong argument they actually got weaker. Yannick Ngakoue and Justin Jones both left in free agency. However, GM Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus seem to be banking on the ascent of young talent on the roster. Gervon Dexter is at the center of those hopes. The 2nd round pick out of Florida had a strong finish to last season, collecting 2.5 sacks and several pressures in the final five games.

With Jones gone, Dexter stands to inherit his spot as the start three-technique alongside Andrew Billings. Remember, he played around 433 total snaps last season. Jones played 740. That is the more likely mark he will hit this coming season. If you project his final five games as a rookie into a full year, he could have one of the better seasons a Bears defensive tackle has had in years. How good? Former scouting director Greg Gabriel even put a number out there for Windy City Gridiron.

Dexter is a huge man at 6055 – 310, and he ran a 4.88 while at that size. That is remarkable speed, along with excellent quickness. One area he needs to improve on is keeping his pad level low. He got better as the season went on last year, and I expect he will be playing low like he did at the end of 2023.

With his natural talent and with a year under his belt learning the scheme, he is ready to have a breakout year in 2024. While it is hard for an inside defensive lineman to get double-digit sacks, it would not surprise me to see him record around 8.0 sacks this season. Add to that his improved run support, and he could very well be a big-time player for the Bears in 2024.

Gervon Dexter would be in rare company.

Only one defensive tackle in the past 25 years has recorded eight or more sacks in a season for the Bears: Tommie Harris in 2007. Some will argue Akiem Hicks did it in 2017, but he was technically a defensive end. If Dexter reaches that mark, he will have fulfilled Poles and Eberflus’ grand vision for him. Don’t forget draft experts thought there was no chance he could become a viable pass rusher. He was too slow off the ball, played too high, and didn’t understand how to use his hands. However, some did admit he showed flashes of dominance that reminded them of Chris Jones.

Poles almost certainly saw the same. It was a matter of getting him the right coaching. Eberflus and defensive line coach Travis Smith did a good job helping him transition last year. Now, Gervon Dexter is working with the new defensive coordinator, Eric Washington. He is one of the top defensive line specialists in the NFL and is particularly good with defensive tackles. If Dino Dex can stay healthy and listen to their instructions, there may not be a blocker on the planet who can stop him.

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Jun 9, 2024 3:26 pm

Now, Erik Lambert is trying to convince you guys that Gervon Dexter Sr. is soon to be Chris Jones, III. Football doesn’t work like that. GM, Ryan Poles drafts guys like Velus Jones Jr. Dominique Robinson, Tyler Scott, etc. for their physical traits — not as much for their proficiency on the field. Occasionally, Poles ends up with a football player (or, two): Gordon and Brisker; Wright and Stevenson; Williams and Odunze. And, that’s good. But to me, Dexter plays like someone placed footprints on the field for him to follow. He may get pressure. But even then, he doesn’t… Read more »

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
Jun 9, 2024 12:30 pm

I think Dexter is a good candidate to play both DE and DT, when and where appropriate.

Jim Jones
Jun 9, 2024 6:57 am

I really like Dexter and think that dude can be something. Told him I expect 6.5 sacks and 15 TFL this year and he liked those numbers. Just think the way he closed the new responsibility was slowing down and watch out. Dude will be a disruptor this year.

Jun 9, 2024 5:20 am

At least this year they will be able to coach them up. Last year it seemed the defense wasn’t doing anything until a few weeks after they fired the DC. I can see how maybe Eberflus was in a hurry and really didn’t have the time or situation to get the right people first. But however, Poles and Eberflus aren’t just kicking players to the curb, but coaches as well. I wonder if that’s Hits also?

Jun 9, 2024 4:36 am

Dexter made some plays in crunch time for UF in the limited games I could watch. He’s a big, powerful dude, and I hope our new DC can teach him to use that power to drive the man in front of him backwards into the QB’s face to collapse the pocket. Pickens showed some explosiveness on a few plays last year. I don’t know where he is at regarding defending the run. Before last year, many were labeling Ed Oliver a bust, or underperformer. He had a solid year. For a lot of these OL/DL/TE players, they need a couple… Read more »

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