This former rookie must develop in the off-season for the Chicago Bears

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When the Chicago Bears drafted Zacch Pickens, they did not have significant plans for year one. The team already had Andrew Billings and Justin Jones starting, and they drew Gervon Dexter ahead of him. Still, it was hard to watch Pickens in his limited amount of work and not feel slightly concerned about the direction of his career. 

His tape was not impressive. Amongst interior defensive line rookies, he ranked 10th in pressures and 15th in win rate. He ranked 7th in run stops. Now, it brings a question of what the team will do with him. They have a big decision to make, considering Jones is set to hit free agency. 

The plan was that Jones would leave, both Pickens and Dexter would rise up, and the team would need minimal replacement-level play along the defensive line. Now, they enter the offseason, and there is a question about whether the defensive tackle is still needed this offseason. Dexter has shown enough that the Bears should trust him. However, if they do not see Pickens taking a step forward, they need to figure out depth, because even if Dexter does get more work, he and Billings need trusted backups behind them.

Why this offseason is so significant for Zacch Pickens with the Chicago Bears

If the Chicago Bears put any real money or a draft pick into this spot, they are not betting on Pickens. If they only add a backup nose tackle or a low-end veteran, they plan for Pickens to see serious work as a rotational contributor next season. Not many players could see their trajectory swing based on what the team does more than Zacch Pickens this offseason.

Will the Chicago Bears have the trust in Zacch Pickens, or will they address the position, and bury him on the depth chart?

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