General manager Ryan Poles addressed a slew of needs with his 10 draft picks, where many of these rookies are expected to contribute immediately this season.
As the Bears prepare for training camp later this month, this class of rookies has a lot to prove and learn ahead of some valuable preseason action in August.
Here’s a look at the eight most intriguing Bears rookies to watch during training camp:
OT Darnell Wright
Darnell Wright is part of Chicago’s new-look offensive line, where he’s expected to start immediately at right tackle as a rookie. He’s been lauded for his pass protection prowess, and he’ll be responsible for keeping Justin Fields upright this season. Wright impressed during the offseason — for as much as one can without live contact. We’ll get a better look at Wright once the pads come on in training camp.
Tyrique Stevenson climbed the depth chart this offseason, where he turned heads with the first-team defense. With Kyler Gordon slated to play exclusively in the slot, Stevenson is expected to start on the outside opposite Jaylon Johnson. While it feels like a safe bet that Stevenson will start, he’ll still need a strong training camp to hold off others vying for the starting job, including Kindle Vildor and Jaylon Jones.
Roschon Johnson will be in the thick of the summer’s most intriguing roster battle at running back. Johnson will likely begin third on the depth chart behind veterans Khalil Herbert and D’Onta Foreman. But Johnson’s skillset, which includes a penchant for pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield, gives him the chance to not only push for playing time but perhaps challenge for that lead back role.
DT Gervon Dexter
Gervon Dexter is expected to serve a key role along the overhauled defensive interior. Dexter has impressed this offseason, but he should be at his best when the pads come on and he can show what he can do. While Dexter isn’t expected to start immediately — behind veterans Justin Jones and Andrew Billings — he’ll be a key rotational piece who should push for starting reps as the season progresses.
Like his fellow rookie Dexter, Zacch Pickens should contribute immediately along the defensive line. Pickens impressed during the offseason, seeing time at both three-technique and nose during the offseason, and he’ll get a chance to show what he can do when the pads come on. Pickens isn’t expected to start immediately with Jones and Billings at the helm, but he’ll be a key rotational player along the interior.
WR Tyler Scott
The Bears added another weapon for Fields with the addition of speedster Tyler Scott, who will help stretch the field on offense. While DJ Moore, Darnell Wright and Chase Claypool are the top wideouts, Scott figures to contribute immediately as a rookie. His speed and playmaking ability will make it difficult to keep off the field.
LB Noah Sewell
The Bears overhauled their linebacker room this offseason, including the addition of Noah Sewell. Sewell will have an opportunity to compete for the starting SAM role with Jack Sanborn this summer. Sanborn is the starter going in, so Sewell will have to step up his play. But it helps that Sewell got reps with the first-team defense while Sanborn rehabbed from an ankle injury.
K Andre Szmyt
Cairo Santos will most likely be the team’s starting kicker when the season kicks off, but the addition of undrafted rookie Andre Szmyt could push Santos during training camp. Szmyt has a cannon for a leg and a high ceiling that could translate into a long-term career with the Bears. While Santos figures to be the guy, a strong performance could make things interesting.
[lawrence-auto-related count=3 category=103]