The Chicago Bears went heavy on the defensive tackle position in the 2023 NFL Draft. General manager Ryan Poles admitted the Bears couldn’t address every positional need in the draft and hinted he would look for more pass rush help next season. The lack of competition at the defensive end position gives one Bears rookie in 2022 another shot to show he can be a starter in Chicago.
The Chicago Bears need a pass rush
Dominique Robinson was picked by the Bears in the fifth round last season. Robinson had a lot of hype going into his first season in the NFL. Robinson met expectations in his first game on a sloppy wet Soldier Field, where he recorded 1.5 sacks in the Bears’ win over the San Francisco 49ers. But he didn’t earn a sack after that game.
Robinson was a guest on the Good Athlete Podcast recently. He said he aimed to be a much better player in year two. Robinson set a goal to get to at least ten sacks for the 2023 season. That would be over six times the amount of sacks he had last season.
“I’ve been busting my butt this offseason, working out with different people.”
Chicago Bears defensive lineman Dominique Robinson told @coach4kindness he has been working really hard this offseason and wants to record at least 10 sacks this upcoming season.
Robinson: "I've been busting my butt this offseason, working out with different people."
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) May 1, 2023
Robinson has room to improve
With no defensive ends taken last weekend, Robinson should get another shot to play in rotation at defensive end this season. Robinson will have a chance to show head coach Matt Eberflus’ staff that he can help be an anchor on the defensive line and doesn’t need a replacement in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Robinson didn’t play well in his first season in Chicago after the Week 1 game. He earned a 45.9 overall grade from Pro Football Focus for his player in 2022. He earned a 48.3 grade for his pass rushing. Robinson was credited with 30 combined tackles, 11 stops, five missed tackles, and no forced fumbles last season. He did his part to be included in a unit with the worst pass rush last season.
Robinson has the frame to turn around his performance from last year and have a better season in 2023. The Bears desperately need a pass rush this season. While the team should look to free agency to bring in pass-rushing help, the Bears should take a look during OTAs to see if Robinson’s hard work this offseason is paying off. Robinson acknowledged he needed to get better, and it’s a positive sign he’s taking steps to remedy his technique.
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