4. The Chicago Bears 2023 Rookie Class flashed on numerous occasions throughout the day
Perhaps who I was most intrigued to watch before the Chicago Bears 2023 Family Fest was the rookie class that Ryan Poles just brought in.
By most accounts, Poles had done well during the 2023 NFL Draft. Yet, it is impossible to truly be excited about rookies until you see them play against their peers in the league.
That’s why the flashes I witnessed yesterday were so encouraging.
Gervon Dexter has a lot to learn if he wants to fulfill his potential at defensive tackle. His pad level and explosion off the line of scrimmage have to be more consistent, but it’s impossible to deny the physical specimen that he is.
On one occasion, Khalil Herbert took a handoff and appeared to have a seem between the tackle and guard on the left side. As he ran through the hole, Dexter worked his way down the line as if he was a linebacker and stopped Herbert after a four-yard gain. Many defensive tackles would’ve been far too slow to make the play.
On another occasion, Dexter took on a double team and used his immense strength to bully through the middle of the offensive linemen to force a sack. The best part of this play? One of the two offensive linemen was flagged for holding, yet they still succumbed to the strength of the rookie.
I also walked away impressed with the potential of rookies Roschon Johnson and Tyler Scott. In the case of Roschon Johnson, it is obvious that the Chicago Bears are bringing him on slowly. He didn’t receive many reps, but there was a two-play sequence that has me excited for his future.
On the first play, Johnson took a handoff and bounced outside where he found some room to run. As he accelerated up the field, he threw down a nasty move that showcased uncanny balance and agility. On the second play, Johnson caught a pass on a short out route, turned on the gas and aggressively finished the play ten yards down the field by lowering his shoulder into the defender.
These two plays demonstrated his unique skillset and why some believe he could rise to the top of the depth chart sooner rather than later.
Tyler Scott has work to do to become a more polished wide receiver, but his speed is undeniable. He primarily worked with the second-team offense and caught a ball on a hitch from P.J. Walker where it was clear that the defender was overly concerned with getting beat deep. He also got some work in as a punt returner.
If the 2023 rookie class can live up to their potential, the Chicago Bears rebuild is going to progress much quicker than expected.