Last season, the 2020 fifth-round draft pick from Tulsa appeared in 16 games with nine starts, registering 39 tackles, 7.0 sacks, seven tackles-for-loss, five forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two pass breakups. Gipson especially excelled down the stretch, recording four of his seven sacks in the final five games and three of his five forced fumbles in the final two contests.
Gipson was a two-year starting defensive end at Tulsa, where he earned first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors as a senior in 2019 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.
Converted to outside linebacker with the Bears, Gipson's transition as a rookie initially wasn't easy, primarily because all offseason workouts and preseason games were cancelled due to COVID-19. But after a full year and offseason under his belt, the 6-4, 263-pounder was able to take advantage of expanded playing time in 2021 after perennial Pro Bowler Khalil Mack was shut down for the season in late October due to a foot injury that required surgery.
Here's what ESPN wrote in naming Gipson the Bears' most underrated player:
"Gipson emerged as a strong No. 3 and spot starter for the Bears last season, racking up seven sacks and 15 hurries in just under 500 snaps. Though a bit raw in his approach, Gipson has good length, functional strength and stunning flashes of bend around the corner. If Gipson can use this year's opportunity as a starter to take another step forward, the Bears may have a real difference maker on their hands."