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Bears’ projected depth chart following first wave of free agency

The Chicago Bears have made it through the first wave of NFL free agency where they added some impact starters that have already bolstered the roster.

There’s still plenty of work for Bears general manager Ryan Poles, as there are still roster holes that need to be filled heading into the second wave of free agency and the NFL draft.

With the slew of moves made over the last week — from signings to cuts to trades — the roster looks different than it did more than a week ago. And that’s certainly impacted the projected depth chart.

Here’s a look at the Bears’ current projected depth chart after the first wave of free agency:

Quarterback

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

QB

Justin Fields

PJ Walker

There’s no doubt that Fields is QB1 entering his third season. Meanwhile, the Bears made it perfectly clear that Walker was brought in to be Fields’ backup, as they released Trevor Siemian shortly after.

Running back

Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

Other

RB

Khalil Herbert

D’Onta Foreman

Travis Homer

Trestan Ebner

FB

Khari Blasingame

We’re definitely going to see a committee approach at running back, anchored by Herbert and Foreman. But don’t be surprised to see Homer incorporated more as a receiving threat out of the backfield.

Wide receiver

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

WR

DJ Moore

Equanimeous St. Brown

Daurice Fountain

WR

Darnell Mooney

Velus Jones Jr.

Joe Reed

WR

Chase Claypool

Nsimba Webster

The Bears’ wide receivers group is the strongest it’s been in years, with Moore, Mooney and Claypool leading the charge as the team’s top wideouts. Chicago will likely add a couple more receivers, perhaps in the draft, to join St. Brown and Jones as the wideouts to make the roster.

Tight end

The Post Crescent

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

Other

TE

Cole Kmet

Robert Tonyan

Jake Tonges

Chase Allen

Kmet is entering the final year of his rookie deal, and he should be a big part of the Bears’ passing game in 2023. Chicago found an upgrade at backup tight end in Tonyan, who will serve as a nice red-zone threat.

Offensive line

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

LT

Braxton Jones

Larry Borom

LG

Cody Whitehair

Ja’Tyre Carter

C

Lucas Patrick

Doug Kramer

RG

Nate Davis

Dieter Eiselen

RT

Teven Jenkins

Alex Leatherwood

Kellen Diesch

The offensive line remains a work in progress this offseason, where the Bears will look to add some pieces in the NFL draft. But, where things stand, Jones remains the starting left tackle and Davis was brought in to start at guard. Poles did mention we could see Whitehair at center. But, with the current roster, he stays at left guard while Patrick gets the nod at center. But the one glaring hole remains right tackle, where I’ve got Jenkins penciled in for now.

Defensive line

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

Other

DE

DeMarcus Walker

Dominique Robinson

Jalyn Holmes

Terrell Lewis

DT

Justin Jones

Donovan Jeter

DT

Andrew Billings

DE

Trevis Gipson

Gerri Green

Andrew Brown

The Bears still have some work to do along the defensive interior and edge rusher, but they did add two starters in Walker and Billings. Jones is the starting 3-technique until the team finds another, likely in the draft. The same can be said for Gipson at defensive end.

Linebacker

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

WLB

T.J. Edwards

Sterling Weatherford

MLB

Tremaine Edmunds

DeMarquis Gates

SLB

Jack Sanborn

Kuony Deng

The Bears overhauled the linebacker position and free agency, and the team’s starting linebackers are set with Edwards, Edmunds and Sanborn. There are some questions about where Edwards and Edmunds will line up — be it WILL or MIKE — but for now, Edmunds certainly fits the bill at middle linebacker.

Cornerback

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

CB

Jaylon Johnson

Jaylon Jones

Michael Ojemudia

CB

Kindle Vildor

Greg Stroman

NCB

Kyler Gordon

Josh Blackwell

Harrison Hand

The Bears’ cornerbacks are anchored by Johnson and Gordon, but they still need a quality third cornerback. For now, Vildor is a starter on the outside opposite Johnson, which forces Gordon into the slot. Jones and Blackwell, both undrafted rookies a year ago, are quality depth.

Safety

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

FS

Eddie Jackson

Elijah Hicks

Adrian Colbert

SS

Jaquan Brisker

A.J. Thomas

There’s no doubt that Jackson and Brisker will lead a strong safety group for Chicago. While DeAndre Houston-Carson remains unsigned, that could mean an increased role for Hicks in his second season.

Specialists

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Position

1st string

2nd string

K

Cairo Santos

P

Trenton Gill

LS

Patrick Scales

The Bears return their core starting specialists after Scales was signed to a one-year extension. He’ll join Santos and Gill to maintain some consistency on the special teams unit.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire