Most of the talk around the Chicago Bears defensive line over the past two months has centered on two names. One is Robert Quinn, the Pro Bowl defensive end who has held out of every practice thus far, putting his future status with the team in question. The other is Justin Jones, the newly-arrived free agent who has the difficult task of being the three-technique interior pass rusher. It feels like not enough people are talking about Trevis Gipson.
The former 5th round pick was a non-entity as a rookie in 2020. He spent that year making the difficult transition from defensive end in college to outside linebacker in the NFL. Last year, the fruits of his labor became apparent as he collected seven sacks and five forced fumbles despite logging fewer than 500 total snaps. It was an excellent season for him. Yet it feels like the young man has been almost forgotten. Pro Football Focus didn’t make that mistake, ranking him their 5th-most likely breakout player of 2022.
“With Khalil Mack out of the picture, Gipson has a golden opportunity heading into Year 3. He already showed out with an 87.0 pass-rushing grade spelling Mack and Robert Quinn last fall. Coming out of Tulsa, Gipson was billed as a project after playing mostly head up over tackles in the Golden Hurricane defense. Still, he possessed elite bend for a 6-foot-4, 253-pounder that served as a great starting point for an edge rusher. That bend led to a ridiculous five forced fumbles on only 489 snaps last season. We can’t wait to see what he can do on a full complement of snaps.”
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) November 25, 2021
Second-year #Bears edge defender Trevis Gipson has played 57 defensive snaps in 3 games. He only played 71 total last season. With Gipson seeing the field more, his production is also going up. Here he bench presses T.J. Hockenson and makes the tackle on the RB for a 1-yard loss. pic.twitter.com/1iPIqD58CG
— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) October 6, 2021
Trevis Gipson is in a perfect situation.
It always felt like he played out of position during his first two seasons. He never felt like a natural 3-4 outside linebacker. It didn’t fit what he does best. He’s a hunter. He should be going forward as often as possible. Any time the Bears dropped him into coverage, they were doing opponents a favor. That isn’t going to continue under Matt Eberflus. His 4-3 system will shift Gipson back to defensive end. From there, his job is simple. Either set the edge against the run or get the quarterback. Simple and straightforward.
One can hear the excitement whenever Trevis Gipson talks about the new defense. He knows exactly what it can do for him—more opportunities to rush the quarterback and fewer responsibilities to worry about. The less a player has to think, the faster he plays. That is what Eberflus wants. If Gipson was as dangerous as he was last season, try to imagine him playing even faster. Scary thought.