Bears' 53-man roster, depth chart projections ahead of training camp

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Early Bears' roster, depth chart projections before training camp originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

We are less than two weeks out from Bears training camp.

Things have been relatively quiet since the Bears broke for the summer. But Chicago did make a trade Tuesday, acquiring receiver N’Keal Harry from the New England Patriots in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round pick.

Harry joins a group full of players battling for roster spots. While his size and blocking ability likely will give him a leg up, Harry will have to prove he deserves a roster spot during camp.

With training camp just around the corner, it’s the perfect time for an early roster/depth chart projection for the 2022 Bears.

Quarterback (2): Justin Fields, Trevor Siemian

The 2022 season will be all about the development and trajectory of Fields. How well can the Bears evaluate him with a thin wide receiving corps and suspect offensive line? We’re about to find out.

Running back (5): David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert, Darrynton Evans, Trestan Ebner, Khari Blasingame (FB)

The Bears are going to rely heavily on their running game this season. While Montgomery is the unquestioned No. 1, Herbert should also expect a significant workload as the Bears lean toward a running-back-by-committee approach. Sixth-round draft pick Trestan Ebner could give the offense a nice boost as a pass-catching option out of the backfield.

Wide receiver (7): Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle, Equanimeous St. Brown, Velus Jones Jr., N’Keal Harry, Dante Pettis, Chris Finke

This will be the Bears’ toughest decision in training camp. Mooney, Pringle, Jones, and St. Brown should be locks. I’m going to bet on Harry doing enough in camp to earn a spot. He’s a good run blocker and the Bears need a big-body receiver.

The other two are dart throws. Ryan Poles and the Chiefs signed Chris Finke last year, so I’ll give him a leg up. As for Pettis, he played for Bears wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert last season with the Giants and has appeared to have a little more connection with Fields than the other fringe roster receivers. But the final two spots are up for grabs.

Tight ends (3): Cole Kmet, Ryan Griffin, James O’Shaughnessy

Kmet could be in line for a big season in Getsy’s offense. He’s a capable blocker and should get a lot of opportunities to make plays down the field in the passing game.

Offensive line (9): Larry Borom, Cody Whitehair, Lucas Patrick, Sam Mustipher, Teven Jenkins, Braxton Jones, Zachary Thomas, Doug Kramer, Ja’Tyre Carter

It will be interesting to see what first-team offensive line combination Eberflus trots out to start training camp. Will Teven Jenkins return to his spot as the first-team right tackle? Or will Braxton Jones be the first-team left tackle with Borom at right? I think Jenkins slots back in at right tackle, and the Bears use their four rookies (Jones, Thomas, Kramer, Carter) as depth behind the projected starting line of Borom, Whitehair, Patrick, Mustipher, and Jenkins.

Interior defensive line (5): Justin Jones (3T), Angelo Blackson (NT), Mario Edwards Jr, Khyiris Tonga, LaCale London

The Larry Ogunjobi plan fell through early in the offseason, so the Bears tabbed Jones as their starting three-technique. The Bears like having Edwards behind Jones. Blackson is their best option at nose tackle. It’s a thing group the Bears should try to bolster.

Defensive ends (5): Robert Quinn, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Trevis Gipson, Dominique Robinson, Charles Snowden

Will Quinn be on the roster when the season starts? That’s one of the big questions facing the Bears as training camp nears.

Muhammad had six sacks last season for Eberflus in Indianapolis. Gipson started to blossom last season as more opportunities came his way. The Bears believe Robinson can develop into a good NFL edge rusher.

Linebackers (5): Roquan Smith, Nicholas Morrow, Matt Adams, Joe Thomas, Jack Sanborn

Smith is the Bears’ best player and is in the final year of his contract. Morrow, Adams, and Thomas all have experience in the Bears’ defensive system. I like undrafted rookie Jack Sanborn to make the roster. He’s a high-IQ, tackling machine who can provide good depth.

Defensive backs (9): Jaylon Johnson (CB1), Kyler Gordon (CB2), Thomas Graham (NB1), Eddie Jackson (FS), Jaquan Brisker (SS), Kindle Vildor, Tavon Young, DeAndre Houston-Carson, Elijah Hicks

Poles and Eberflus rebuild the secondary with the selections of Gordon and Brisker. They’ll start alongside Johnson and Jackson. I’m taking Graham to win the slot corner job of Tavon Young.

Specialists (3): Cairo Santos (K), Trenton Gill (P), Patrick Scales (LS)

The Bears drafted Gill and waived Ryan Winslow. Santos has made 89.1 percent of his field goals with the Bears. This group seems set.

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