Bears Draft Target: Gervon Dexter
Doug Engle - USA Today Sports

Bears Draft Target: Gervon Dexter

by - Senior Writer -

As all eyes shift to the Chicago Bears and their upcoming draft, you start to look at all the holes this team needs to address. Where to start should be the next question as virtually every position on this team needs a dramatic upgrade. Holding the No. 1 pick will certainly upgrade at least one of those positions, but so would adding an additional first-round pick by trading back with someone else.

In an ideal world, the Bears would not only be able to draft Jalen Carter or Will Anderson Jr No. 1, but they would find a way to take one of them and then trade back into the first round and take the other. That doesn't seem like a likely scenario, so the Bears are going to have to pick from one of those two.

Granted, you can't go wrong with either guy; Anderson Jr seems like the better prospect and would bring much more to the Bears' defense than Carter. That may not be a bad thing as this draft is loaded with DL prospects and would give the Bears an opportunity to add a high-quality DT later in the draft. If that is the route they choose, Gervon Dexter could be an option for the Bears.

The 21-year-old Florida product elected to enter the draft a year early and is a massive DL product. At 6-6 and 312 pounds, Dexter is not only one of the tallest DTs in this year's class, but he is one of the biggest and most athletic, making him a possible home run if you can land him. Despite his size, Dexter wasn't as productive as you would think, as he collected 124 tackles and 4.5 sacks over his career with two interceptions.

This past season saw him elevate his game a bit more as he came away with a career-high 55 tackles to go with two sacks and one interception. That is what a lot of these scouts are basing his future on, as this season saw Dexter become a much different player than in the past.

Dexter has great size for a three-technique player and uses his length to keep OL from getting the best of him. His long arms make it hard to block him off the line forcing a lot of teams to run plays away from his side on the line. His explosive first step allows him to create penetration and get upfield, disrupting the run game and pulling OL. Considering the Bears didn't have a real presence up front last season, there are far worse options than him in this year's draft.

Although his height helps with his length, it does create one of the biggest concerns about his game. His height makes it difficult for him to play at a consistent pad level, but he has done a phenomenal job of playing with a more consistent pad level. His athleticism may be a plus, and he does use that to his advantage, but his pass-rushing skills are limited as that is about all he can do when getting after the QB.

With Justin Jones as the lone returning player on the Bears line, the Bears need either a one or three-technique player that can help stop the run. Dexter could be that guy, but it isn't that simple. A lot of scouts have questioned his effort, and motor on the field, and that is not something you do from a first or even early second-round pick.

Granted, the need is there for the Bears to add him if possible. Unless the story on Dexter changes or Chicago falls in love with him, it’s hard to see the team drafting a guy accused of taking plays off. That is not something the Bears want from a defensive player when they are looking to rebuild a struggling defensive unit.

However, Florida defensive tackles come with tons of upside, and that alone makes him an intriguing option. Dexter has all the intangibles to dominate the line of scrimmage, now it is up to him to prove he doesn't take plays off and can be that kind of player.

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