Chicago Bears’ projected depth chart following minicamp

The Chicago Bears have filled out their 90-man roster following the conclusion of the offseason program. There’s still a long way to go before the Bears need to trim their roster to 53 players, but the roster is already starting to take shape.

When looking at this current roster, there aren’t a lot of potential surprises that could steal a roster spot. But training camp will in intriguing given competition at wide receiver, cornerback and offensive line that will earn or lose roster spots.

Following mandatory minicamp, here’s my depth chart projections for the Bears’ 53-man roster ahead of training camp.


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Starter: Andy Dalton Reserves: Justin Fields, Nick Foles The Bears upgraded the quarterback position this offseason with the addition of Andy Dalton and Justin Fields. Matt Nagy made it clear that Dalton will be the starter heading into Week 1, although things can certainly change between now and the start of the regular season. Even for Nagy. While Nagy might want to sit Fields as long as possible, it feels inevitable that Fields will start sooner rather than later. At this point, it costs more to part ways with Nick Foles than keep him, so he'll serve as another mentor for Fields.

Running back

Starter: David MontgomeryReserves: Tarik Cohen, Damien Williams, Khalil Herbert The Bears' running backs room has the most depth its had in awhile, starting with the return of David Montgomery, who is coming off his first 1,000-yard season. And he still believes he can be even better in 2021. Tarik Cohen, who suffered a torn ACL in Week 3 last year, will provide a much-needed spark that was missing on offense last season. The biggest thing Chicago did at running back this offseason was add some much-needed depth, which includes with the additions of Damien Williams in free agency and Khalil Herbert in the draft.

Wide receivers

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Starters: Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, Marquise Goodwin Reserves: Damiere Byrd, Anthony Miller, Dazz Newsome Aside from Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney, the wide receivers room is wide open. While Anthony Miller was rumored to be on the trading block, it sounds like he'll be back for another year, although he's going to have to earn his reps. Chicago added Marquise Goodwin and Damiere Byrd in free agency to bring some speed and depth to the position, and they've been among the most impressive players during the offseason program. The Bears also added Dazz Newsome, who has already developed chemistry with Fields. That puts Javon Wims and Riley Ridley on notice, and they could wind up without a roster spot.

Tight ends

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Starter: Cole Kmet Reserves: Jimmy Graham, J.P. Holtz, Jesper Horsted There's not much change at the tight end position for the Bears. One of the biggest surprises this offseason is that Jimmy Graham wasn't a cap casualty given his cap hit in 2021. But it sounds like he's an important part of this offense this season. Cole Kmet should see increased action and progress in his second year in Chicago. Behind them, Holtz and Horsted should have those reserve roles locked down.

Offensive line

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Starters: Teven Jenkins, Cody Whitehair, Sam Mustipher, James Daniels, Germain Ifedi Reserves: Larry Borom, Alex Bars, Elijah Wilkinson, Arlington Hambright The offensive line is certainly a position group to monitor heading into training camp, especially with the shake-up at the tackle position. The Bears parted ways with both Charles Leno and Bobby Massie this offseason, freeing up a ton of cap space but leaving Chicago vulnerable at the tackle position. The Bears drafted Teven Jenkins to fill the left tackle spot and the right tackle job is Germain Ifedi's to lose, although he'll certainly face competition from Larry Borom and Elijah Wilkinson. The inside of the offensive line appears set with Cody Whitehair, Sam Mustipher and James Daniels. But there is depth on the line, which was an issue last season.

Defensive line

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Starters: Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols Reserves: Mario Edwards, Angelo Blackson The Bears defensive line remains one of the most consistent units on the roster, which starts with Akiem Hicks and Bilal Nichols, who is coming off an impressive season. After opting out of the 2020 season, the expectation is that Eddie Goldman will be making his grand return to the defensive line, where he'll join Hicks and Nichols for what should be a dominant front. While Chicago did lose a couple of valuable contributors on the defensive line in Roy Robertson-Harris and Brent Urban in free agency, they did re-sign Mario Edwards and added Angelo Blackson in free agency.

Inside linebackers

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Starters: Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan Reserves: Christian Jones, Josh Woods The Bears are returning their starting inside linebacker duo in Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan, where Smith is coming off a career -- should've been All-Pro -- year in his third season. The concern with the linebackers last season was depth, which is something Chicago addressed with the signing of Christian Jones, who returns for his second stint with the Bears. The last linebacker spot will come down to Josh Woods and Joel Iyeigbuniwe, where Woods would likely get the nod right now.

Outside linebackers

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Starters: Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn Reserves: Jeremiah Attaochu, Trevis Gipson, Charles Snowden The Bears are returning their pass rushing duo of Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, where the onus will be on Quinn to rebound following a disappointing 2020 season where he mustered a career-low two sacks. Chicago did add some valuable depth in Jeremiah Attaochu, who impressed filling in for an injured Von Miller in Denver last season. Look for Trevis Gipson to see an expanded role in his sophomore year. The Bears might've also found a solid project in Charles Snowden, who signed as an undrafted rookie free agent this offseason, and he has a good chance to earn that final roster spot.


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Starters: Jaylon Johnson, Kindle Vildor Reserves: Duke Shelley, Desmond Trufant, Thomas Graham Jr. Chicago's cornerbacks room is going to look a little different with one big glaring issue -- Kyle Fuller is no longer on this team, which is a massive loss. While they're returning Jaylon Johnson, who had an impressive rookie year, there's not much stability opposite him. But Kindle Vildor has emerged as the favorite to earn that starting job opposite Johnson following an impressive offseason program. The Bears also signed Trufant in free agency and drafted Thomas Graham Jr., who has the potential to contribute as a rookie. Chicago will also need to find Buster Skrine's replacement at nickel back, where it sounds like Duke Shelley and Graham will battle it out.


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Starters: Eddie Jackson, Tashaun Gipson Reserves: Deon Bush, DeAndre Houston-Carson, Jordan Lucas Despite the lack of consistency at the cornerback position, the Bears are bringing back most of their safeties from last season. Chicago re-signed Tashaun Gipson to maintain the duo of him and Eddie Jackson. They also return solid depth with Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson, who are also valuable special teams contributors. After opting out of last season due to COVID-19, Jordan Lucas will make his debut as a Bear.


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Kicker: Cairo Santos Punter: Pat O'Donnell Long snapper: Patrick Scales The Bears' special teams looks identical from last season, at least as far as their core trio. Cairos Santos was signed to a well-deserved three-year extension while Chicago also brought back Pat O'Donnell and Patrick Scales for another year, which makes sense given the success of the unit last season. The return specialists, on the other hand, could be different. While Cohen is returning from a torn ACL, Cordarrelle Patterson departed in free agency, and suddenly Chicago has questions both at kick returner and punt returner. Look for Herbert and Newsome to get a look at returning kicks.