What preseason told us about Bears' plans for Gervon Dexter Sr. and Zacch Pickens

Are you suffering from some severe Ego Ferguson-Will Sutton PTSD after watching the Chicago Bears select Gervon Dexter Sr. and Zachh Pickens in the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft this year? Don’t blame you.

The last time the Bears double-dipped at defensive tackle near the top of the NFL Draft, it went catastrophically poorly. As in…neither Ferguson (20 games, one start) nor Sutton (36 games, 18 starts) lasted even three seasons of playing time in Chicago.

If Dexter and Pickens don’t work out, all we’ll hear about for the rest of the decade is how the Bears should’ve drafted John Michael Schmitz, Juice Scruggs or "insert interior offensive lineman" here at their respective spots in the second (53rd overall pick) or third (64) rounds.

For now, the two interior defenders are here, and they’re probably going to play a lot for a defensive line that doesn’t have any game-changing talent on it that we know of.

The question is how will the Bears use them? Is one of them supposed to be the fabled stud three-technique that makes a 4-3 base defense go?

The preseason might’ve offered some clues.

Dexter’s size (6-6, 310 pounds) gives him an intriguing physical profile for a three-technique especially when you note the similarity in profiles with DeForest Buckner (6-7, 295 pounds) head coach Matt Eberflus’ former favorite defensive lineman in Indianapolis. In three games of preseason action, Dexter overwhelmingly played in the B-gap (72 of 101 snaps) or outside (29 of 101 snaps), according to Pro Football Focus. You will note, of course, that means he never played as a one-technique or nose.

Pickens, on the other hand, reportedly worked almost exclusively at nose tackle early in training camp practices – a role he didn’t always thrive in during his college days due to his fairly undersized frame for that position. And yet, during preseason game action, Pickens played more three-technique than any other position per PFF, totaling 56 snaps in the B-gap while logging just 22 snaps over the A-gap. In fact, the former Gamecock played more as an edge (26 snaps) than he did as a one-technique or a nose.

So what does it all mean?

For one thing: training camp reports aren't always what they seem. Sometimes, players (especially the young ones) are literally practicing specific things they need to work on in preparation for the season that might not be their only role.

Secondly, while Dexter might be more locked in as a three-technique, Pickens has a jack-of-all-trades aspect to his game the Bears clearly want to explore. His movement skills against the run have flashed despite some of the concerns about his base as a two-gapping interior player being noticeable, and he's shown he can execute stunts as a defensive tackle to generate pressure as well.

Those pass-rush chops in particular have even led the Bears to try playing the two young defensive tackles as three-techniques at the same time in the preseason finale against the Bills -- a savvy way of generation one-on-one situations the rookies can more easily exploit.

The likelihood that both Dexter and Pickens hit in the draft might not be something to bank on as Bears fans have seen in the past. (The funny thing is if you combined Dexter's raw size and brute strength paired with Pickens' quickness off the ball), you might have a really good player.)

But they're both going to get more than enough chances to prove they can play in the league. If either one of them hits and becomes more than just a league-average backup, you probably count that as a win. For now, Dexter and Pickens have at least shown a glimpse or two of the talents that made them Day 2 picks in the draft.

For first-year players, flashes are good enough in the beginning. Hopefully we see more consistently strong play as the season progresses.

This Fanpost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.