The Bears bolstered their pass rush Saturday, trading a 2021 fourth-round pick to the Vikings in exchange for a fifth-round choice (No. 155) they spent on Tulsa outside linebacker Trevis Gipson.
Gipson was a two-year starter at Tulsa, where he earned first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors last year as a senior after setting career highs with 49 tackles, eight sacks and 15 tackles-for-loss. As a junior, he registered 46 tackles, four sacks and nine tackles-for-loss.
"I'm just really excited to get up there and show Chicago what I'm made of," Gipson said during a conference call with the media.
"As far as my strengths and weaknesses, I feel like I'm a good pass-rusher, I feel like I can stop the run also. And I think I play with a relentless motor, and that's something that overall is going to help me."
Gipson views himself as a versatile 3-4 outside linebacker who's capable of excelling against the run and pass but has yet to reach his full potential.
"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."
Gipson made major strides from his junior to senior seasons. He credits his improvement to attending a pass rush summit hosted by Broncos star outside linebacker Von Miller last summer in Las Vegas. Gipson was among about 40 college and NFL pass rushers in attendance.
"I learned a lot of things there and basically took my pass rush to another level, took my run defense to another level," Gipson said. "I learned how to break down film more. I think overall that showed an upside of my game.
"I learned how to watch film, how 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 actually a lot, just a whole lot of tips that I feel like have helped me."
Gipson is eager to continue to learn as a pro from his new Bears teammate, perennial Pro Bowl outside linebacker Khalil Mack.
"I expect to learn a whole lot," Gipson 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.
"I feel like he's a very great pass-rusher. He has quick instincts, a great pass-rush plan."
Like Mack, Gipson has displayed a knack for forcing fumbles. He caused eight fumbles during his career at Tulsa, tying for second in the nation with five in 2018.
"It's just something I've been able to work on," Gipson said. "I work on targeting the football, chasing the football, being relentless, 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 spoke to the Bears a couple of times during the pre-draft process via FaceTime, so he knew there was some interest. But when they traded a draft pick to select him, it showed Gipson how much the Bears coveted him.
"I think that means that they really value me a lot," he said. "Regardless of where they picked me up in the draft, I'm appreciative. I know that I'm going to work hard for them. They obviously put their trust in me, so I'm going to do what it takes."
With the 155th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Bears select OLB Trevis Gipson