Trevis Gipson is about as unmolded as the come and the Bears have a good idea what they can do with him.
They want to turn him into a pass rusher to help Khalil Mack.
"I don’t think I’ve reached my full potential just yet," Gipson said Saturday via conference call.
The Bears didn't go for a safety when the need was there in Round 5 and instead went for more pass rush pressure by taking the Tulsa edge rusher with the 155th overall selection.
The Bears actually didn't have the 155th pick. They wanted Gipson enough that they took a fourth-rounder from next year and sent it to the Minnesota Vikings to make this pick of a player they had targeted since very early in the draft process.
Gipson, who is ideal size for a rusher in this 3-4 system, is 6-foot-3, 261 pounds and last year had eight sacks while also making 15 tackles for loss. He forced two fumbles, as well.
"I feel like I’m a good edge defender," Gipson said. "I feel like I can stand up two-point or put my hand in the dirt. I feel like I play with relentless effort. As far as being a relentless edge defender I feel that you’ve got to stop the run first, play the pass next. And I feel like I can do both."
For his career, Gipson had 13 sacks and 25 1/2 tackles for loss. He forced five fumbles in 2018 by coming off the edge hard, a figure that was second in the country.
Gipson has been watched by Bears scouts for quite a while and it continued to right before the draft, so he had a good idea he was going to wind up with the Bears.
"We Face-timed a couple times," Gipson said. "They spoke to me a couple times. They made me and my agent aware that they needed and edge defender and they had interest."
The last two seasons Aaron Lynch served as the third Bears outside linebacker to spell Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd and made five total sacks for those seasons. They've wanted a younger pass rusher to groom for that third spot.
Gipson didn't run the 40 at the combine but did bench press 25 reps at 225 pounds.
Gipson comes from a very athletic family. His father played basketball for Texas and mother ran track at North Texas. His brother was a pro basketball player in Finland.
Scouts have referred often to Gipson as very raw but with a huge amount of talent and in need of some solid coaching. He made some strides simply by going to a pass rush camp put on by Broncos edge rusher Von Miller.
"I went to the Von Miller Pass Rush Summit," Gipson said. "I learned a lot of things there, and basically took my pass rush to another level, took my run defense to another level. I learned how to break down film more.
"I learned how to watch film. I had to take care of my body better. Different pass-rush techniques—I had to go speed to power, I had to go power to speed. Just a bunch of different things. It was actual a lot. Just a whole lot of tips, I feel like, have helped me."
Now he's ready to take it to another level by learning from one of the players he studies, Mack.
"I'm just ready to learn a whole lot," he said. "He's one of my favorite players. I feel like he's one of the guys I try to model my game after. So I'm going to come in and put in the hard work and hopefully we can star together.
"Really, his pass rush, that’s one of my favorite things. I feel like he's a great, a very very great pass rusher. He has quick instincts, a great pass-rush plan.
He's already improved at something Mack specializes at doing and that's coming around the edge sharply to cause quarterbacks to fumble.
“I think it's just something I've been able to work on. I work on targeting the football, chasing the football, being relentless, just giving tremendous effort, and I feel like that pays off just because when guys get fatigued, they may carry the ball a little bit more loose," Gipson said.