Matt Eberflus finally has some practices with most of the Chicago Bears roster under his belt. It is still early in the process, but one thing is becoming clear almost immediately. The team likes what it’s seeing from their defensive rookies. Second round picks Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker have made their presence felt throughout OTAs. Gordon has two interceptions, while Brisker has two forced fumbles. They’ve set the tone in practices thus far, championing Eberflus’s takeaway mindset.
However, it sounds like they aren’t the only ones making some noise. The head coach was asked about the absence of Robert Quinn and how that has affected the defense. While Eberflus admitted he’d like to have the Pro Bowler on the field, he understands the choice being made. At the same time, he sees a hidden positive in Quinn’s absence. It allows other players more opportunities to get noticed. One that has stood out to him is 5th round pick, Dominique Robinson.
That is encouraging to hear.
Robinson was a favorite among many draft experts. Despite never having played defensive end before the 2020 season, he still managed to produce six sacks over 15 games before heading to the NFL. He was a wide receiver before that. A remarkably fast transition for any player. Many feel he would’ve gone much higher in the draft if he’d made the switch a year earlier, given how much potential he flashed at Miami of Ohio.
Matt Eberflus and GM Ryan Poles felt his talent was more than worth the pick they got him at. It is whether they think that talent can be properly cultivated. This coaching staff is experienced with such things. They’ve elevated pass rushers in the past, and few had the sheer range of abilities Robinson does. Not only is he quick and explosive, but he can bend and has deceptive power. With more refining of his technique, he’ll be a proper QB hunter in no time.
It sounds like his progress is moving faster than anticipated.