The Bears Released Their First Depth Chart and It's Full of Surprises

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The Bears Released Their First Depth Chart and It’s Full of Surprises

Chicago Bears

The Matt Nagy Era officially kicks off in six days when the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens square off in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game just days before the enshrinement of legendary middle linebackers Brian Urlacher and Ray Lewis. And because of the early start to their season, the Bears find themselves ahead of the curve in releasing their first depth chart – doing so on Friday afternoon.

Let’s take a look:

Quarterback

  1. Mitch Trubisky
  2. Chase Daniel
  3. Tyler Bray

This depth chart looks a bit different than the first one that was released around this time last year. It’s Trubisky’s world and we’re just living in it.

Running back

  1. Jordan Howard
  2. Tarik Cohen
  3. Benny Cunningham

Others: Taquan Mizzell, Ryan Nall (rookie)

It’s worth noting that Nall is listed among the running backs and not as a second-string fullback behind Michael Burton. The Bears didn’t use Burton often last season and the Chiefs didn’t deploy their fullback a lot either. Let’s keep that in mind as we move on throughout the summer.

Wide Receiver #1

  1. Allen Robinson
  2. Kevin White
  3. Javon Wims (rookie)

Others: Marlon Brown, Tanner Gentry, Demarcus Ayers

Wide Receiver #2

  1. Taylor Gabriel
  2. Anthony Miller (rookie)
  3. Joshua Bellamy

Others: Bennie Fowler, Garrett Johnson (rookie), Malachi Jones

Nothing exemplifies the ushering in of a new era like the new names at the top of the Bears’ receiver depth chart and the ones bubbling below as backups. To me, White being behind Robinson as the “X” receiver says positive things about how he is looking this summer. And while Gabriel is destined to play the “Zebra” role in the offense, it’s worth pointing out that he has spent a ton of time lining up on the outside. If you’re new around here, you might want to check out Gabriel and Nagy clarifying the new receiver’s role in the offense.

Tight end

  1. Trey Burton
  2. Dion Sims
  3. Adam Shaheen

Others: Ben Braunecker, Daniel Brown, Colin Thompson

It wasn’t much of a surprise last year when Shaheen opened up as the third-string tight end on the first depth chart, but I can’t say the same about this year. To be honest, it’s somewhat surprising that Sims is still ahead of him in the rotation. Sims appeared to be on the chopping block in the offseason, but the Bears kept him around and forfeited an opportunity to clear additional salary cap space by not cutting ties in March. We’ll keep a close eye on this developing situation.

Left tackle

  1. Charles Leno Jr.
  2. Bradley Sowell
  3. Matt McCants

In case you were curious about the Bears’ contingency plans should Leno go down with an injury, now we know it’s Bradley Sowell – who signed a two-year contract to stay with the team in the offseason.

Right tackle

  1. Bobby Massie
  2. Rashaad Coward
  3. Brandon Greene

WHOA! Seeing Coward as the No. 2 option behind Massie might be the most unexpected thing we’ll see on this depth chart. Coward was a backup nose tackle last season, but the Bears flipped him to the offensive side of the ball earlier in the offseason. It’s a move that once famously worked out for James “Big Cat” Williams, who was conveniently spotted watching practice on Friday by Zack Pearson of Scout.com’s Bear Report.

Center

  1. Cody Whitehair
  2. Hroniss Grasu
  3. James Daniels (rookie)

Right guard

  1. Kyle Long
  2. Earl Watford
  3. Will Pericak
  4. Dejon Allen (rookie)

Daniels has been working a lot with the second- and third-string offense, though I doubt that was the original plan coming into this season. After all, GM Ryan Pace insisted the Bears drafted Daniels with the idea that he would primarily be working out as the team’s left guard. Eric Kush is pushing hard for a starting spot after missing all of last year with a hamstring injury. Still, I’d like to see Daniels get some more work in with the guards.

Watford spent time filling in for Long during the offseason training program, but it’s nice to see No. 75 at the top of the depth chart.

Left guard

  1. Eric Kush
  2. James Daniels
  3. Jordan Morgan

Watford spent time filling in for Long during the offseason training program, but it’s nice to see No. 75 at the top of the depth chart.

Defensive end #1

  1. Akiem Hicks
  2. Bilal Nichols (rookie)
  3. Nick Williams (rookie)

Defensive end #2

  1. Jonathan Bullard
  2. Roy Robertson-Harris
  3. Cavon Walker (rookie)
  4. Bunmi Rotimi (rookie)

Nose tackle

  1. Eddie Goldman
  2. John Jenkins
  3. Abdullah Anderson (rookie)

The hottest training camp battle might be the one between Bullard and Robertson-Harris for the opportunity to start opposite of Hicks and next to Goldman. And so far, Bullard has the edge – which makes sense because he was the one who filled in as a starter when Mitch Unrein went down with a season-ending injury. This is one we’ll have circled until a starter is declared after the preseason. On the other side of the line, it’s good to see Nichols push his way into being No. 2 on the depth chart despite being a late-round pick.

Outside linebacker #1

  1. Leonard Floyd
  2. Isaiah Irving
  3. Kasim Edebali
  4. Andrew Trumbetti (rookie)

Outside linebacker #2

  1. Sam Acho
  2. Aaron Lynch
  3. Kylie Fitts (rookie)
  4. Elijah Norris (rookie)

Acho is the incumbent starter opposite of Floyd, and it appears that will remain the same unless Lynch or Fitts can prove to be healthy and able to take that job. While Acho is a sturdy run defender, the Bears could use more of a push from him as a pass-rusher. On the other side of the formation, you can see the arrow is pointing up for Irving, who was listed among the “others” when the first training camp depth chart was released around this time last year.

Inside linebacker #1

  1. Danny Trevathan
  2. John Timu
  3. Jonathan Anderson
  4. Ro’Derrick Norris (rookie)

Inside linebacker #2

  1. Nick Kwiatkoski
  2. Roquan Smith (rookie)
  3. Joel Iyiegbuniwe (rookie)
  4. Josh Woods (rookie)

There is plenty of starting experience behind Trevathan with Timu and Anderson (who is technically listed as an outside linebacker on the team’s updated online roster). We fully expect Smith to play his way into the starting lineup, but one simply can’t win a starting spot if you’re not in camp with your teammates.

Cornerback #1

  1. Kyle Fuller
  2. Marcus Cooper
  3. Doran Grant

Others: Michael Joseph (rookie), John Franklin III (rookie)

Cornerback #2

  1. Prince Amukamara
  2. Bryce Callahan
  3. Cre’von LeBlanc

Others: Kevin Toliver (rookie), Sherrick McManis

It’s a little jarring to see Cooper so close to a starting spot after a disappointing showing after signing a sizable free agent contract. Undrafted free agent rookies such as Joseph and Toliver have stood out during the first round of practices and could stand to make even more waves as camp goes on.

Safety #1

  1. Eddie Jackson
  2. Deon Bush
  3. DeAndre Houston Carson

Safety #2

  1. Adrian Amos
  2. Deiondre’ Hall
  3. Jonathan Mincy
  4. Nick Orr (rookie)

Hall is listed as a cornerback on the team’s official online roster, but checks in as the No. 2 safety on the depth chart behind Amos. Let’s keep tabs on how the Bears deploy Hall this summer. Clearly, the front office liked him enough to draft him in the fourth round back in 2016. Unfortunately, he seemed to find himself in someone’s doghouse last season.

Special teams

  • Kicker: Cody Parkey
  • Long snapper: Patrick Scales
  • Holder: Pat O’Donnell

Punter

  1. Pat O’Donnell
  2. Ryan Winslow (rookie)

It’s as pure as a training camp competition will get as O’Donnell returned on a one-year deal during the offseason and is greeted by one of this rookie class’ best punting prospects in Winslow.

Kick returner

  1. Benny Cunningham
  2. Tarik Cohen

Punt returner

  1. Tarik Cohen
  2. Bryce Callahan

Everything remains the same in the return game. I wouldn’t worry much about Cohen being listed as the No. 2 kick returner, as I figure teams will try to kick away from him as often as possible after a productive rookie season.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.