After proclaiming that he would draft the best player available, Ryan Poles has thrown everyone a curve by seemingly drafting for need. The GM drafted Darnell Wright in the first round, filling a need at right tackle. In the second round, Poles got Matt Eberflus a Nose Tackle/DL3T with the selection of Gervon Dexter.
The 21-year-old started all 13 games during his junior season in 2022, posting 55 stops, including four for loss with two sacks. He also had an interception. Dexter only played two years of high school football, but was still a 5-star recruit when he committed to Florida. He’s raw, but most scouts believe his best football lies ahead.
Here’s his final draft analysis per The Draft Network.
“Overall, Dexter is a prospect that has physical tools that will instantly give him an opportunity to be a starter in the NFL. The question for Dexter will be whether he will continue to develop his skill set to be an impactful starter in the NFL to match those rare physical traits. ”
Here’s what ESPN said about Dexter:
- It’s difficult to run at Dexter, who is adept at holding his ground versus double teams. He stands up to offensive linemen, locates the ball, and continues to improve his ability to off-block one-on-ones. As a pass-rusher, he’s more disruptive than his sack totals indicate. Dexter keeps his pads down and walks offensive linemen back into the quarterback.
- Chicago ranked 31st in run defense and last in scoring defense last year. Dexter has the skill set to quickly develop into an effective complement to run-stuffing free agent signing Andrew Billings and shore up the middle of the Bears’ defense.
- NFL Comp: Carl Davis
Dexter joins veterans Justin Jones and free-agent acquisition Andrew Billings as anchors on the interior defensive line. The rookie is a monster at the point of attack in the run game. If you watch his tape, he absolutely manhandles offensive linemen, tossing them to the turf like rag dolls. Dexter is strong, holds his ground at the point of attack, and rarely gets pushed around. He uses his length to shed blocks and shows the quickness and athleticism to flow down the line to make tackles out of his gap.
However, Dexter lacks the necessary pass-rushing skills to be a three-down player. He can bull blockers to collapse the pocket, but he struggles to shed blocks and collect sacks. That’s fine if the Bears can add a string EDGE rusher, something they’ve yet to do. Dexter flashes some shocking twitch, quickness, and athleticism, so the talent is there for him to do more, but he needs to develop his hands and pass-rushing moves.
Eberflus refers to the three-technique as “the engine that makes everything go” in the Bears’ defense. Dexter is versatile enough to play anywhere from nose tackle to DL5T, but if he wants to stay on the field, he’s going to have to get to the quarterback. NFL sources raved about Dexter’s athletic upside and his potential. His uneven tape really hurt his grades with teams. The Bears may have reached a little here, but they’ve gone against the grain in the past with success.