Check Out the Bears' First Regular Season Depth Chart

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Check Out the Bears’ First Regular Season Depth Chart

Chicago Bears

Because some things have changed since the Chicago Bears released their first preseason depth chart back in July, expectations are on the rise for the Matt Nagy era. With opening night in Green Bay against the Packers being just five days away, now represents a good time to check out an updated depth chart. Let’s take a look.

Quarterback

  1. Mitch Trubisky
  2. Chase Daniel

The only change here is that Tyler Bray is on the practice squad.

Running back

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

Fullback

  1. Michael Burton

Chicago choosing to go with three running backs instead of four would be more of a surprise had the team not also selected to carry Burton as the lone pure fullback. And because of the potential for more jet sweeps to be called in Nagy’s offense, it’s fair to expect players like Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller to get their share of carries.

Wide receiver #1

  1. Allen Robinson
  2. Kevin White
  3. Javon Wims*

Wide receiver #2

  1. Taylor Gabriel
  2. Anthony Miller*
  3. Joshua Bellamy

The Bears have significantly upgraded the least-productive collection of receivers by pushing their only returning wideouts to the bottom of the depth chart. Robinson and Gabriel were on other NFL teams when last season kicked off, while Miller and Wims were getting set to lead their respective college teams in receiving. It’s not a coincidence that Bellamy and White are the only receivers back from the 2017 team. White traveled out to California to work out with Trubisky during the offseason, and Bellamy was able to build a rapport with the second-year signal caller when both were running with the third unit during the preseason last year.

Tight end

  1. Trey Burton
  2. Dion Sims
  3. Ben Braunecker
  4. Daniel Brown

What this group misses in Adam Shaheen being on injured reserve will hopefully made up by the collection of talent behind Burton at the top of the depth chart. Sims will start the season as the team’s top in-line “Y” tight end, while Braunecker and Brown round out the group. The Bears could have a tough decision to make if/when Shaheen is activated off injured reserve, but that’s a bridge we’ll cross at a later time and date.

Left tackle

  1. Charles Leno Jr.
  2. Bradley Sowell

Left guard

  1. Eric Kush
  2. James Daniels*

Center

  1. Cody Whitehair
  2. James Daniels*

Right guard

  1. Kyle Long
  2. James Daniels

Right tackle

  1. Bobby Massie
  2. Rashaad Coward

I’m a believer in that there is a silver lining on every dark cloud. And in the case of James Daniels not winning the starting left guard position, the silver lining is that the Bears are now better equipped to deal with injuries along the interior of the line than they were last year. Daniels is set to be the No.1 backup at three different positions, which leaves Harry Hiestand’s group better prepared to battle in case of an emergency. It’s also good to see Bradley Sowell settled in as the backup left tackle after seeing him leave a preseason game early due to an injury.

Defensive tackle

  1. Akiem Hicks
  2. Bilal Nichols*
  3. Nick Williams

Nose tackle

  1. Eddie Goldman

Defensive end

  1. Jonathan Bullard
  2. Roy Robertson-Harris

Bullard beat out Robertson-Harris in the tightly contested race to start next to Goldman and opposite of Hicks on the defensive line. Both players figure to get plenty of action as creating a rotation would make for a fresher legs in key spots of a game. Listing Hicks, Nichols, and Williams as defensive tackles is a small tweak, but the roles of those players remains the same. It’s a bit jarring to see Goldman as the only nose tackle on the roster, which leaves Nichols and Williams as the two players most likely to move inside in a pinch.

Outside linebacker #1

  1. Khalil Mack (!!!)
  2. Sam Acho
  3. Aaron Lynch

Outside linebacker #2

  1. Leonard Floyd
  2. Isaiah Irving
  3. Kylie Fitts*

Seeing Mack at the top of the depth chart does wonders to ease the myriad concerns that were surrounding the pass-rush prior to Saturday. Adding Mack moves Sam Acho into a role as a top reserve where the Bears can better take advantage of his run-stopping ability. Also sliding down the depth chart are free agent Aaron Lynch and sixth-round pick Kylie Fitts, who are players players the team added as depth pieces with upside.

A tip of the cap is in order for Isaiah Irving, who was on the practice squad at this time last year and worked his way to being Floyd’s backup. That’s no small feat.

Inside linebacker #1

  1. Danny Trevathan
  2. Joel Iyiegbuniwe*

Inside linebacker #2

  1. Nick Kwiatkoski
  2. Roquan Smith*

This group is made up of two starters with at least two years of experience in Vic Fangio’s scheme and two highly touted rookies. The depth at inside linebacker is encouraging, to say the least.

Cornerback #1

  1. Kyle Fuller
  2. Marcus Cooper Sr.
  3. Sherrick McManis

Cornerback #2

  1. Prince Amukamara
  2. Bryce Callahan
  3. Kevin Toliver II*

Free safety

  1. Eddie Jackson
  2. Deon Bush

Strong safety

  1. Adrian Amos Jr.
  2. DeAndre Houston-Carson

The starting secondary for what was a top-10 defense in 2017 returns, but there are a few tweaks beyond the starters on the depth chart. Toliver is the lone undrafted free agent rookie to make the season-opening roster and Cooper jumps into a different role than the one he started in at this time last year after solidifying his role as a special teams contributor. With Cre’von LeBlanc joining the Lions’ practice squad, Callahan is the undisputed top option at slot cornerback. And finally, Deiondre’ Hall was sent to Philadelphia in a trade that netted the Bears a conditional seventh-round pick.

Special teams

  • Punter: Pat O’Donnell
  • Kicker: Cody Parkey
  • Long snapper: Patrick Scales
  • Holder: Pat O’Donnell
  • Kick returns: Benny Cunningham, Tarik Cohen
  • Punt returns: Tarik Cohen, Bryce Callahan

*-Bears rookie

O’Donnell and Scales held off rookies Ryan Winslow and Tanner Carew to keep their jobs as Bears specialists. Parkey is the lone newcomer to this group after signing a sizable free agent contract in the offseason.

Now that we have the depth chart in front of us, is it time to play football yet?


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Author: Luis Medina

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