Free agency and the draft have come and gone, and it’s safe to say that the Chicago Bears are a completely different team from last year. Gone are players like Alshon Jeffery, Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley. The likes of Mike Glennon, Mitch Trubisky, Kendall Wright and others have taken their spots. The Bears’ defense boasts a new-look secondary as well.
Now that most of the additions are likely over, it’s time to prepare for the 2017 season. What better way to do that than breaking down the Bears’ current roster? Here’s what the team’s depth chart looks like at the moment.
QB (4): Mike Glennon, Mitch Trubisky, Mark Sanchez, Connor Shaw
Mike Glennon will likely start to start off the season, but make no mistake about it: Mitch Trubisky is the Bears’ future at quarterback. Mark Sanchez and Connor Shaw – the latter of whom is coming off of a serious injury – will battle it out for the final quarterback spot.
RB (6): Jordan Howard, Jeremy Langford, Benny Cunningham, Ka’Deem Carey, Tarik Cohen, Joel Bouagnon
Coming off of a fantastic rookie season, Jordan Howard is a legitimate offensive weapon. Behind him, though, there’s loads of uncertainty. Jeremy Langford disappointed last year, and Ka’Deem Carey is unlikely to ever live up to the hype. Benny Cunningham and Tarik Cohen are both speedy scatbacks, and Joel Bouagnon is an intriguing, big, local prospect.
FB (2): Paul Lasike, Freddie Stevenson
The Bears flirted with installing a fullback into their offense last year, but the idea never came into fruition. Paul Lasike has been on and off with the team since 2015, while Freddie Stevenson could end up being a steal.
WR1 (4): Cameron Meredith, Kendall Wright, Deonte Thompson, Tanner Gentry
WR2 (5): Kevin White, Josh Bellamy, Rueben Randle, Jhajuan Seales, Ryan Timmons
WR3 (5): Eddie Royal, Markus Wheaton, Daniel Braverman, Kermit Whitfield, Aregeros Turner
The first two wide receiver spots are made up of outside receivers, whereas the third spot is made up of slot weapons. With Alshon Jeffery gone, the Bears will rely on a hodgepodge of undrafted free agents, fizzling former first-round picks and steady veterans. If you’re looking for a breakout player, expect Daniel Braverman to have an increased role in the team’s offense this year.
TE (7): Zach Miller, Dion Sims, Adam Shaheen, Daniel Brown, Ben Braunecker, MyCole Pruitt, Desean Smith
What was once of the Bears’ biggest weaknesses is now a strength. New additions Dion Sims and Adam Shaheen give the team a future after Zach Miller leaves. Brown, Braunecker and Pruitt proved to be high-upside players who will battle it out for a spot on the roster. Smith could be a practice squad candidate.
OT (7): Charles Leno Jr., Bobby Massie, Tom Compton, Bradley Sowell, Dieugot Joseph, Will Poehls, Mitchell Kirsch
Despite a rough start to the season, Leno Jr. and Massie came into their own in 2016. Compton and Sowell are solid depth pieces. Look for Dieugot Joseph to be a sleeper to make the team.
OG (4): Kyle Long, Josh Sitton, Eric Kush, Jordan Morgan, Cyril Richardson
Arguably the strongest part of the Bears’ roster, the guard position is stacked. Long and Sitton are among the best guards in the entire NFL. Kush is a good depth piece, while Morgan is a high-upside rookie. Former All-American Cyril Richardson will be looking to prove that he still has something left in the tank.
C (3): Cody Whitehair, Hroniss Grasu, Cornelius Edison
Although the pick was puzzling at first, Cody Whitehair proved to be a potential building block on the Bears’ offense. Grasu will be returning from injury this year, so it will be interesting to see what the team has in store for the former third-rounder. Edison has been signed and cut by the Bears multiple times.
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DE (7): Akiem Hicks, Jaye Howard, Jonathan Bullard, Mitch Unrein, C.J. Wilson, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Rashaad Coward
Hicks proved to be a steal of a signing last year, and Howard has potential to do the same this year. Bullard and Unrein are players who could start if needed, and one of Wilson, Lewis-Moore and Coward could steal a roster spot.
DT (3): Eddie Goldman, John Jenkins, Will Sutton
If Goldman stays healthy, he can blossom into one of the top nose tackles in the NFL. John Jenkins and Will Sutton provide solid depth at the position.
EDGE (6): Pernell McPhee, Leonard Floyd, Willie Young, Lamarr Houston, Sam Acho, Roy Robertson-Harris
Floyd had a great rookie season, but staying healthy was an issue, as it was for McPhee. Young had 7.5 sacks last year. Houston had 8.5 in 2015, but missed most of 2016 due to injury. Acho is a special teams asset, whereas Robertson-Harris is a high-upside depth piece.
ILB (6): Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan, Nick Kwiatkoski, Christian Jones, John Timu, Jonathan Anderson
It’s unlikely that Danny Trevathan will be healthy to start the year, so Kwiatkoski will likely start alongside Freeman, who had a fantastic 2016 season. Jones, Timu and Anderson all have starting experience.
CB1 (3): Prince Amukamara, Kyle Fuller, Johnthan Banks
CB2 (4): Marcus Cooper, Sherrick McManis, Deiondre’ Hall, B.W. Webb
CB3 (3): Bryce Callahan, Cre’von LeBlanc, Rashaad Reynolds
The Bears’ cornerback group isn’t great, but it’s better than it was last year. Amukamara and Cooper have potential to become a solid outside tandem, while Callahan is a good option at nickelback.
FS (4): Adrian Amos, Eddie Jackson, Deon Bush, DeAndre Houston-Carson
SS (3): Quintin Demps, Harold Jones-Quartey, Chris Prosinski
Quintin Demps was a very good signing by the Bears. While they didn’t draft a safety early, Eddie Jackson could compete for a starting spot this year. Jones-Quartey, Bush, Prosinski and Houston-Carson are all decent depth pieces.
K (2): Connor Barth, Andy Phillips
P (1): Pat O’Donnell
LS (1): Patrick Scales
There’s very little change in the specialist group. Phillips is a favorite among Bears fans on Twitter, but it’s unlikely that he’s the long-term solution at kicker.
– Jacob Infante is a National Editor for cover32 and also covers the Chicago Bears. He can be followed on Twitter @jacobinfante24.