Bears sign Nate Davis: Experts hand out grades for Chicago

The Chicago Bears continued free agency with the addition of offensive guard Nate Davis, who’s expected to sign a three-year deal worth $30 million.

Davis, 26, has started 54 games for the Tennessee Titans at right guard. He’s been an impressive run blocker and also solid pass protection. But the one concern with Davis is health, as he’s only played one full season in four years. Davis’ addition raises questions about the offensive line, particularly what happens with Cody Whitehair and Teven Jenkins. But, all in all, Davis should help bolster the offensive line.

Here’s a collection of all of the grades for the Bears’ expected signing of Davis, where experts believe he’s a solid addition for Chicago.


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ESPN’s Seth Walder understands Chicago wants to protect quarterback Justin Fields, which makes the Davis addition a solid one.

I’m not convinced the Bears’ offensive line was the problem last season — Justin Fields has been a sack magnet dating back to Ohio State — but I certainly understand them wanting to protect their franchise QB as well as they can. Teven Jenkins was fine in pass protection according to his pass block win rate (92%, 34th at guard), but Davis (93%, 22nd) was a little better. Perhaps this means the Bears will kick Jenkins over to right tackle. Or perhaps they can have him as a versatile backup and sign one of the value right tackles available on the free agent market.

Pro Football Focus: B+

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Pro Football Focus thinks Davis is a great fit for Luke Getsy’s outside zone blocking scheme.

Chicago has two capable guards under contract in left guard Cody Whitehair and right guard Teven Jenkins, but the two missed a combined nine games in 2022, and Whitehair now presents as a potential cap casualty.

On the other hand, perhaps the Bears have Teven Jenkins serve as the swing guard that can also kick out to right tackle, a position they were expected to address in free agency, giving them a lot of flexibility.

Davis is a good fit in the Bears and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s offensive scheme, which is a similar outside zone-based rushing attack as the system Davis started his career with in Tennessee.

Davis earned a career-high 70.6 overall grade and 66.8 pass-block grade in 2022 and will still be 26 years old in Week 1 of 2023.

The Athletic: B

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The Athletic‘s Mike Jones thinks Davis is a solid addition for Chicago — the only concern is staying healthy.

Continuing their aggressive approach, the Bears address their offensive line as well. Davis is getting three years and $30 million, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.

When healthy, the former Titan and No. 2 guard in The Athletic’s free-agent rankings played at a Pro Bowl level. But injuries slowed him in 2021 and 2022. If he can return to his top form and remain on the field, Davis will improve a line that surrendered 58 sacks last season (fourth-most in the NFL).

Sporting News: C

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Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer wasn’t overwhelmingly excited about the addition of Davis, who he calls an average starting guard.

The Bears started their offensive line rebuild by getting a starter, but Davis is about average overall.

Sports Illustrated: B+

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Sports Illustrated’s Matt Verderame liked the addition of Davis to help shore up pass protection for Justin Fields.

Chicago had one of the league’s worst offensive lines in 2022. Quarterback Justin Fields was sacked 55 times, tied for the most of anyone in football.

With Davis on the interior and third-year guard Teven Jenkins opposite him, the Bears have a few young pieces to build around Fields. Davis brings power to Chicago’s front, providing lanes in the rushing game.

Now it’s about finding quality tackle play, which is available to the Bears both in free agency and the draft.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire