The 2022 Chicago Bears will have a lot of exciting players to look out for.

As football season approaches, Bears fans hope Justin Fields will emerge as a franchise quarterback, Darnell Mooney will continue to develop into a star, and rookies Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker will prove to be impact players in Chicago’s secondary.

While all of those storylines will be notable as things play out, the disrespect the Bears have been getting from national media throughout the off season make it reasonable to think many of the players on the team are being underrated. One name may be in this category more so than the others.

It just so happens that one of the Bears brightest young stars is underrated and disrespected the most:

Ladies and gentleman, Trevis Gipson.

Gipson, a defensive end, was a 5th round selection by the Bears in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Tulsa. He was known for his explosive first step, and raw (but unpolished) talent. The Bears, however, took on the project, and it appears to be working out in a big way.

After a year of waiting in the wings behind Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack, Gipson (quietly) burst onto the season in 2021 after he got an opportunity from Mack’s foot injury. In nine starts, Gipson recorded seven sacks (2nd on the team) and forced five fumbles (1st on the team).

Let me put all of it into perspective for a moment with some facts:

Only seven players in the entire NFL recorded at least five forced fumbles last season. Darius Leonard (IND), TJ Watt (PIT), Joey Bosa (LAC), Nick Bosa (SFO), Chandler Jones (ARI), Josh Norman (SFO), and yep…Trevis Gipson (CHI).

That’s some pretty elite company.

Further more, Gipson only played 489 defensive snaps for the Bears last season. That was about half of the total for every other player on that list. Gipson’s sack/snap rate was also better than everyone on that list besides Watt, the Defensive Player of the Year.

If any of that comes as a surprise to you, it’s probably because he’s been fairly under the radar with all the other storylines circling the team and the lack of recent team success. Hence why I can easily label him as underrated.

Gipson’s production speaks for itself, and on any other roster, he’s probably being looked at as one of the brightest young defensive stars in football. But on the 2022 Chicago Bears, it feels like he might be the fifth or sixth biggest story on the defense alone.

Maybe that’s a good thing, but if you ask me, it’s time Trevis Gipson started getting the respect he deserves. It’s still unclear if Robert Quinn will be on the field for the Bears in 2022, but if he’s not, the Bears defense still has an incredible talent ready to wreak havoc on opposing QBs.

I’m buying stock now. You should too. Big things are on the horizon for Gipson.

Image via Jon Durr – USA Today Sports