Bears depth chart predictions before 53-man roster cut day

·6 min read

Bears depth chart projection ahead of roster cuts originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

We’re one day away from the Bears final cuts, which will bring their roster down to 53 players. You’ve seen the projections of who will stay, and who will go. Now let’s take that one step further and project where each of those guys will slot into the depth chart when the Bears start practicing for Week 1 and the San Francisco 49ers. Starters are bolded. Second-stringers follow, with third-stringers after that, etc.

QUARTERBACK

Justin Fields, Trevor Siemian

No quarterback controversy in Chicago this year.

HALFBACK

David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert, Trestan Ebner

The severity of Ebner’s injury might affect how this shakes out. Since he’s technically day-to-day, the Bears could roll with three halfbacks and two fullbacks, as listed here. If there’s a chance Ebner’s injury extends into the season, the Bears could opt to roster one fullback, and add Darrynton Evans here.

FULLBACK

Khari Blasingame, Jake Tonges

Blasingame’s utilization in the offense shows how much Luke Getsy values the fullback position. For that reason, they keep two.

WIDE RECEIVER

Darnell Mooney, Equanimeous St. Brown, Byron Pringle, Velus Jones Jr., Dante Pettis, Tajae Sharpe

N’Keal Harry could start the year on Injured Reserve, opening up a spot for one more wideout to make the roster. It’s Sharpe that makes the most of it, after he showed a strong connection with Justin Fields. Pringle has missed a ton of time, so he’ll have to work back to regain his presumptive No. 2 role. Meanwhile, St. Brown has had one of the best trajectories this summer. It’s clear Fields trusts him to be in the right place at the right time, and he’s become a red zone threat too.

TIGHT END

Cole Kmet, Ryan Griffin, James O’Shaughnessy

Besides Justin Fields, Cole Kmet may benefit the most from Luke Getsy’s scheme. Kmet has shown he’s a capable run blocker. Since defenders need to respect that, it opens up big gains for Kmet in the play-action game. Griffin and O’Shaughnessy will be contributors, too.

LEFT TACKLE

Braxton Jones, Riley Reiff

Jones could win the award for Biggest Training Camp Surprise. He’s not a finished product, but he’s steadily improved all summer. Reiff adds value as a backup swing tackle.

LEFT GUARD

Cody Whitehair, Lachavious Simmons

Whitehair is the most consistent piece of the offensive line. Simmons keeps his job after a position switch this year. Zach Thomas doesn’t win a job out of camp, but sticks with the Bears on the practice squad.

CENTER

Lucas Patrick, Sam Mustipher, Dieter Eiselen

If Patrick is ready to go Week 1, he’s the surefire starting center. But we haven’t heard an update on when he’ll return to the practice field so the Bears keep Eiselen to add depth behind Mustipher.

RIGHT GUARD

Teven Jenkins, Sam Mustipher, Ja’Tyre Carter

Jenkins is another lineman who saved his job after a position switch. If Patrick returns, Mustipher becomes the backup right guard. Otherwise seventh-round rookie Carter is next man up. Jenkins’ renaissance at the position, plus the positional versatility of Mustipher make free agent signing Michael Schofield expendable and the Bears move on without him.

RIGHT TACKLE

Larry Borom, Riley Reiff

Borom has fended off Reiff in competition this summer, but the Bears will keep a close on this battle (and may even add some competition in the coming weeks). Again, Reiff brings value with his ability to backup both tackle positions.

DEFENSIVE END

Robert Quinn, Trevis Gipson, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Mario Edwards Jr., Dominique Robinson

The top end of the DE rotation may be fluid, as Muhammad has proven himself as a great run defender. Expect the team to work in Robinson when they can since he’s impressed as a young, toolsy pass rusher. Edwards Jr. sticks around for positional versatility, since he can play outside and inside.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Justin Jones, Angelo Blackson, Khyiris Tonga, Mario Edwards Jr., Trevon Coley

The back end of this position group is one of the hardest to project since Coley, Mike Pennel and Micah Dew-Treadway have all played well this summer. Coley is the one who has caused the most disruption in the backfield, and filled out his stat sheet, so he gets the nod. The Bears try to stash Dew-Treadway on the practice squad this year.

MIDDLE LINEBACKER

Nick Morrow, Jack Sanborn

Morrow has shown that if he can stay healthy he can be a foundational piece in the middle of the Bears defense moving forward. Sanborn has had one of the most impressive summers on the team to move from undrafted free agent to roster lock. Sanborn’s special teams prowess helps, as does his ability to play Mike and Sam.

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER

Roqaun Smith, Joe Thomas

Smith will be right in the thick of things when Week 1 rolls around, and he’ll have a big opportunity to prove he can create takeaways in addition to being a tackling machine.

STRONGSIDE LINEBACKER

Matt Adams, Jack Sanborn

Adams won’t be on the field much as the Bears will likely use plenty of nickel packages, but when he is on the field he’ll be a reliable veteran.

OUTSIDE CORNERBACK

Jaylon Johnson, Kyler Gordon, Kindle Vildor, Lamar Jackson, Davontae Harris

Three guys are bolded, mainly because of Kyler Gordon’s positional versatility. When the Bears are in base defense, it will be Johnson and Gordon on the outside. When they go to nickel packages, Gordon will move to the slot and Vildor will go outside. Harris and Jackson win jobs for their special teams work.

SLOT CORNER

Kyler Gordon, Thomas Graham, DeAndre Houston-Carson

This could be a position the Bears try to bolster as teams around the league make cuts. Graham hasn’t been healthy in awhile, so it’s hard for coaches to fully evaluate him. Houston-Carson usually plays safety, but has been used as a “big nickel” at times. Duke Shelley hasn’t done enough this summer to win a job out of camp.

FREE SAFETY

Eddie Jackson, Elijah Hicks

The Bears hope Jackson can become a takeaway machine again, now that they’re simply asking him to range the backfield. Hicks has held his own in the preseason as the last line of defense, and scored a touchdown on special teams.

STRONG SAFETY

Jaquan Brisker, DeAndre Houston-Carson

Brisker’s impressive summer and DHC’s reliability make this a strong unit. If Brisker’s injury extends into the regular season, however, the Bears could keep Dane Cruikshank around to buoy the group until Brisker returns.

KICKER

Cairo Santos

Easy.

PUNTER

Trenton Gill

Peasy.

LONG SNAPPER

Patrick Scales

Lemon squeezy.

Click here to follow the Under Center Podcast.

Download

Download MyTeams Today!