There is reason for optimism for an unsung hero on the Chicago Bears defensive line

Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Most Chicago Bears are worried about Gervon Dexter entering his second NFL season. The Bears are turning to him to step up and start with the departure of Justin Jones so this is a big season for him. While there is a reason to be concerned with just 2.5, the rookie also flashed enough positivity to trust. 

The Chicago Bears should expect Gervon Dexter to perform better in year two

According to PFF, he had 29 pressures last season. That is not elite by any stretch, but when you compare it to similar rookie seasons, you see he is in good territory. 

Derrick Brown recorded 34 pressures as a rookie, Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence were at 30, and Daron Payne had 29 pressures as well. Dexter had more pressure than B.J. Hill, Vita Vea, Dre’Mont Jones, Javon Kinlaw, Quinnen Williams, and Justin Madubuike. Teams and fans were probably concerned about these players, but the flashes were there and they ascended into their second year. 

The flashes are there for Dexter and the list of successful players with more than 25 pressures in their rookie season far outweighs the list of busts that recorded more than 25 pressures as a rookie. 

The question with Dexter comes down to run stops. He was taken off of the field because of his run defense, and it limited his chances to rack up stats. Dexter had just 13 run stops last year. Brown, Oliver, Wilkins, Lawrence, Payne, Hil, and Kinlaw all had 20 or more run stops as rookies. 

Quinnen Williams had 18 run stops as a rookie, and Vita Vea had just 17. Both of them were more trusted than Dexter in that area, but still, they are cases of players getting better in the run game. 

If Dexter can take a step in the run game, and thus get on the field more you are going to see him explode as a pass rusher. This is what fans need to pay attention to this offseason.