While the Chicago Bears roster isn’t yet complete, it feels like most of the big moves have been made. Free agency is over (for the most part), and the draft concluded last weekend. GM Ryan Poles has filled out the depth chart with many new faces. Now Matt Eberflus and his new coaching staff are left to sort through the chaos and start piecing together a lineup that can be competitive this coming season.
Most position groups already have an established hierarchy in place. There isn’t much to talk about. However, several others feature a ton of new faces. New faces mean competition. Poles said that is something he was seeking to create when he took over. He’s about to get what he wants. Looking ahead to training camp, here are the most prominent roster battles Bears fans should watch.
.@TrestanEbner making it look easy. 💨 pic.twitter.com/UrqnlpohHp
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 30, 2022
Chicago Bears have plenty of roster battles to sort through.
RB: Darrynton Evans vs. Trestan Ebner and Master Teague
David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert enter as the unquestioned #1 and #2 guys at running back. Khari Blasingame figures to be their fullback. That leaves one likely spot left open at the position. The Bears have said they want more versatility there, especially in the passing game. Ebner flashed plenty of that during his time at Baylor, and it’s why he was a 6th round pick. He has caught 127 passes and has the added value of scoring three kick return touchdowns. Teague is a better traditional runner and does have pass-catching skills but no special teams value. That should make their battle interesting.
WR: Velus Jones Jr. vs. David Moore and Equanimeous St. Brown
Being a 3rd round pick should give Jones a decided edge in his push to be that #3 receiving option behind Darnell Mooney and Byron Pringle. Still, he is a rookie. Moore has NFL experience and was a solid option for a brief period in Seattle. St. Brown still has plenty of upside despite his limited use of it in Green Bay. Much of this will depend on who can grasp the offense quicker. St. Brown has an advantage, having worked with offensive coordinator Luke Getsy before. At the same time, Jones brings the most versatility with his after-the-catch prowess.
Ja’Tyre Carter stones Winfrey on this rep pic.twitter.com/KARpUAjRG9
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) February 2, 2022
RG: Dakota Dozier vs. Zachary Thomas and Ja’Tyre Carter
A classic case of veteran experience against young upside. Dozier started several games in Minnesota and understands this new offensive system. However, his track record is not too good. Conversely, Thomas and Carter are both late round picks but boast loads of athletic potential. Several draft experts believe both of them are capable of becoming quality guards in the NFL, provided they clean up some technique issues. Much of this depends on how they take to the teaching of new offensive line coach Chris Morgan. This might arguably be the most important battle to watch this summer for the Chicago Bears.
FROM: Jeremiah Attaochu vs. Dominic Robinson
It looked like the defense has their top three pass rusher rotation set with Robert Quinn, Trevis Gipson, and Al-Quadin Muhammad. That means one more defensive end slot should be open. Robinson is the Bears’ 5th round pick and somebody they seem really high on. At the same time, he is extremely raw. He didn’t become a pass rusher until 2020. Before that, he was a wide receiver. Attaochu has more proven experience in the NFL, but he’s coming off a season-ending injury. So this may come down to how healthy he is and how quickly Robinson continues to hone his craft from him.
#Bears new DB Tavon Young 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/cOMNN7EBt3
— Bears Nation (@BearsNationCHI) April 8, 2022
CB: Tavon Young vs. Thomas Graham Jr.
Considering he was the Chicago Bears’ first pick of the 2022 draft, it isn’t a stretch to think they have him penciled in as a starter opposite Jaylon Johnson. The more significant competition will come at the nickel corner spot. Young was a solid player in Baltimore at that spot and figures to be the favorite heading into camp. Graham Jr. though, flashed lots of potential late in 2021 and has the necessary skills to fit that role. The new defensive scheme under Alan Williams may also fit his abilities better. So this might be a closer battle than people think.
SS: Jaquan Brisker vs. DeAndre Houston-Carson and Dane Cruikshank
This might be the most loaded competition of the entire bunch. Brisker was the Bears’ 2nd round pick, so they like him a lot. Houston-Carson has flashed starting potential for the past two years and brings tons of special teams value. Cruikshank might be the biggest wild card since he did not start much in Tennessee but he was a valued commodity thanks to his ability to cover tight ends. One can see any of those three making a push to start opposite Eddie Jackson. Brisker likely the advantage due to his draft status.
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