Projecting the Bears’ depth chart following roster updates

·5 min read

The Chicago Bears have made some updates to their 53-man roster with the addition of seven players who were claimed off waivers.

Chicago’s roster consists of 13% of new players who joined the team in the last few days. That includes offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood, nose tackle Armon Watts and wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette.

The Bears will release their first depth chart ahead of their season opener against the 49ers. But until then, we’re taking another swing at projecting the Bears’ 2022 depth chart heading into Week 1.

Quarterback

Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Position

1st string

2nd string

QB

Justin Fields

Trevor Siemian

Unlike last year, there’s really no questions or drama with the quarterbacks. There’s no debating that Justin Fields is QB1 heading into this season, and Trevor Siemian will serve as his backup.

Running Back

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

RB

David Montgomery

Khalil Herbert

Trestan Ebner

FB

Khari Blasingame

Jake Tonges

Running back is the strength of this Bears offense. David Montgomery returns as the lead back with rising star Khalil Herbert set to see an expanded role in Luke Getsy’s offense. Trestan Ebner should also get some looks. Khari Blasingame is the top fullback with Jake Tonges backing him up.

Wide receiver

AP Photo/Stephen Brashear

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

WR

Darnell Mooney

Byron Pringle

Dante Pettis

WR

Equanimeous St. Brown

Velus Jones Jr.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette

Darnell Mooney is the clear WR1 heading into the season, and Equanimeous St. Brown gets the WR2 nod for now given he’s played the entire summer while Byron Pringle and Velus Jones Jr. have been sidelined with injuries. Dante Pettis should see plenty of work on special teams. The Bears placed N’Keal Harry and Tajae Sharpe on IR and claimed Ihmir Smith-Marsette off waivers.

Tight end

AP Photo/Caean Couto

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

TE

Cole Kmet

Ryan Griffin

Trevon Wesco

There aren’t a lot of questions at the tight end position, where Cole Kmet is the top guy heading into the season. He continues to build his connection with Fields, and he’s been his top target behind Mooney. Veterans Ryan Griffin and Trevon Wesco will back him up.

Offensive line

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Position

1st string

2nd string

LT

Braxton Jones

Riley Reiff

LG

Cody Whitehair

Ja’Tyre Carter

C

Lucas Patrick

Sam Mustipher

RG

Teven Jenkins

Alex Leatherwood

RT

Larry Borom

Alex Leatherwood

The starting offensive line appears to be set with LT Braxton Jones, LG Cody Whitehair, C Lucas Patrick, RG Teven Jenkins and RT Larry Borom. Sam Mustipher will backup Patrick, who remains sidelined after thumb surgery. The Bears claimed Alex Leatherwood this week, and he’s someone who can play both right guard and right tackle. While the hope is he develops into a starter, Chicago doesn’t have to rush him.

Defensive line

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

DE

Robert Quinn

Al-Quadin Muhammad

Kingsley Jonathan

DT

Justin Jones

Angelo Blackson

DT

Armon Watts

Mike Pennel

DE

Trevis Gipson

Dominique Robinson

The defensive line doesn’t come as too much of a surprise with Robert Quinn, Trevis Gipson and Al Quadin-Muhammad leading the way at defensive end. No surprise with Justin Jones at the 3-technique position. That nose tackle spot will be one to watch. The Bears claimed Armon Watts off waivers, and he’s someone who should be starting at nose tackle.

Linebacker

AP Photo/Rick Osentoski

Position

1st string

2nd string

LB

Roquan Smith

Sterling Weatherford

LB

Nicholas Morrow

Jack Sanborn

LB

Matt Adams

Roquan Smith and Nicholas Morrow are locks at weak-side and middle linebacker, and Matt Adams will likely nab the strong side-job. Jack Sanborn will backup Morrow at middle linebacker while newcomer Sterling Weatherford, who was claimed off waivers, will serve as a key reserve.

Cornerback

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

CB

Jaylon Johnson

Kindle Vildor

Jaylon Jones

CB

Kyler Gordon

Lamar Jackson

Josh Blackwell

There’s no question that Jaylon Johnson and rookie Kyler Gordon are the top cornerback options for Chicago. The only question is how Gordon will be utilized. And given he saw plenty of action at nickel cornerback during the preseason, we can probably expect that to continue. That would mean it would be Kindle Vildor starting opposite Johnson on the outside. Lamar Jackson and undrafted rookie Jaylon Jones were bubble players who made the cut and Josh Blackwell joins the group after he was claimed off waiver.

Safety

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

S

Eddie Jackson

DeAndre Houston-Carson

Elijah Hicks

S

Jaquan Brisker

Dane Cruikshank

The Bears are set at safety. Eddie Jackson will start at free safety with Jaquan Brisker manning strong safety. DeAndre Houston-Carson, Dane Cruikshank and Elijah Hicks are the top reserves, and they’ll also serve as special teams contributors.

Special Teams

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

Other

K

Cairo Santos

P

Trenton Gill

LS

Patrick Scales

H

Trenton Gill

Trevor Siemian

The Bears special teams will look different for the first time in a few years following the departure of Pat O’Donnell. Rookie Trenton Gill takes over the starting duties at punter while Cairo Santos and Patrick Scales are back at kicker and long snapper, respectively.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire