Bears: Grading the talent at each position

Dec 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) rushes the ball past San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Gerald Hodges (51) and defensive end Ronald Blair (98) during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) rushes the ball past San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Gerald Hodges (51) and defensive end Ronald Blair (98) during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL offseason is currently undergoing a transition. Teams have already signed free agents and drafted players. Now, those new additions are getting ready to join the rest of the team. With all of the new players joining the Chicago Bears, it’s clear that their roster will look a lot different from 2016’s team.

The Bears did a good job filling needs, but they still have work to do before they can compete. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how they look at each position.

Quarterback: C+

Current Group: Mike Glennon, Mitch Trubisky, Mark Sanchez, Connor Shaw

This group has potential to be a solid, all-around group, but a lack of uncertainty prevents it from grading any higher. Trubisky hasn’t played a down yet, and Glennon hasn’t started a game since 2014. Sanchez and Shaw are both solid backups, but not much else.

Running Back: B+

Current Group: Jordan Howard, Jeremy Langford, Ka’Deem Carey, Benny Cunningham, Tarik Cohen, Joel Bouagnon, Freddie Stevenson (FB)

Howard had a fantastic rookie season, and will look to build upon that this year. Every other spot besides his is fair game. Pretty much all of the other running backs could realistically make the roster, but none of them jump off the page.

Wide Receiver: C-

Current Group: Cameron Meredith, Kevin White, Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright, Daniel Braverman, Josh Bellamy, Deonte Thompson, Tanner Gentry, Kermit Whitfield, Rueben Randle, Jhajuan Seales

Losing Alshon Jeffery will heavily affect the Bears’ passing attack. Without him, they lack a true No. 1 receiver. Regardless of who makes the roster, they will all have to step up to make up for his departure.

Tight End: B

Current Group: Zach Miller, Dion Sims, Adam Shaheen, Daniel Brown, Ben Braunecker, MyCole Pruitt, Franko House

What was once one of the worst parts of the Bears’ offense is now one of its bright spots. They have solid depth all around at the tight end position, which will make training camp interesting.

Offensive Tackle: C

Current Group: Charles Leno Jr., Bobby Massie, Tom Compton, Bradley Sowell, Dieugot Joseph, Will Poehls

The starting offensive tackle spots were surprisingly left alone in the offseason, although it may be for the best. Leno Jr. and Massie were showing some promise late in the year, and the Bears have some decent depth pieces. If they don’t perform up to standards, then Chicago can always take advantage of the stacked 2018 offensive tackle draft class.

Offensive Guard: A

Current Group: Kyle Long, Josh Sitton, Eric Kush, Jordan Morgan, Cyril Richardson

Although the Bears are good at a couple of positions, they are truly elite in the interior offensive line. Led by Long and Sitton – two of the best guards in the NFL – the Bears have a talented and deep group.

Center: B+

Current Group: Cody Whitehair, Hroniss Grasu, Taylor Boggs

Whitehair had a fantastic rookie season, and could be a Pro Bowl player for years to come. It will be interesting to see what the Bears do with Hroniss Grasu, who missed 2016 with an ACL injury.


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Defensive End: B+

Current Group: Akiem Hicks, Jaye Howard, Mitch Unrein, Jonathan Bullard, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Rashaad Coward

This group doesn’t have any stars, but rather a handful of solid players. Hicks and Howard can be dangerous if healthy, and Unrein and Bullard are both great depth pieces.

Nose Tackle: B

Current Group: Eddie Goldman, John Jenkins, C.J. Wilson

Nose tackle was a bit of an issue for the Bears last year, but with a healthy Eddie Goldman and improved depth, it shouldn’t be in 2017.

Outside Linebacker: A-

Current Group: Leonard Floyd, Pernell McPhee, Willie Young, Lamarr Houston, Sam Acho, Dan Skuta, Roy Robertson-Harris, Isaiah Irving

The Bears’ pass rush, if healthy, could be one of the better units in the league this year. Floyd had a great rookie season, while McPhee and Young are good veteran presences off the edge. If Chicago keeps Houston, he could be a great rotational piece, as well.

Inside Linebacker: B+

Current Group: Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan, Nick Kwiatkoski, Jonathan Anderson, John Timu, Christian Jones, Henderson Ekpe, Alex Scearce

If not for his four-game suspension, Freeman could’ve been the first Bears defensive player to make the Pro Bowl since Tim Jennings in 2013. Trevathan is coming off of an injury, but Kwiatkoski will serve as a solid plug-in starter while he recovers.

Safety: C-

Current Group: Quintin Demps, Adrian Amos, Eddie Jackson, Deon Bush, Harold Jones-Quartey, Chris Prosinski, DeAndre Houston-Carson

It was surprising that the Bears did very little to upgrade the safety position in the offseason. Sure, they signed Quintin Demps and drafted Eddie Jackson, but neither of those additions will be slam-dunk players. It will be interesting to see who out of this group makes it onto the roster.

Cornerback: C+

Current Group: Prince Amukamara, Marcus Cooper, Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller, Deiondre’ Hall, Sherrick McManis, Johnthan Banks, B.W. Webb, Rashaad Reynolds

While Amukamara and Cooper aren’t stars, they’re an upgrade over what the Bears had at cornerback last year. Keep an eye on 2014 first-rounder Kyle Fuller in camp, as he might be a possible cut or trade option if he doesn’t impress.

Specialists: C

Current Group: Connor Barth (K), Andy Phillips (K), Pat O’Donnell (P), Patrick Scales (LS)

The Bears are decent on special teams, but not great by any means. Barth and Phillips will battle it out for the kicker spot, while O’Donnell and Scales are pretty much safe.

– Jacob Infante is a National Editor for cover32 and also covers the Chicago Bears. He can be followed on Twitter @jacobinfante24.

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  • lvmra

    I’d grade QB’s a C- but other than that very fair grades.