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The Bears First Regular Season Depth Chart Reveals Seven New Starters and Several Rookies Near The Top

Chicago Bears News

Things have changed since the Chicago Bears released their first depth chart in early August.


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There are 21 players who were listed on the original three-deep depth chart who are no longer with the team, including six who have been placed on the practice squad. In other words, the winds of change have picked up at Halas Hall as the Bears rolled out their first depth chart of the regular season, which revealed seven new starters, two rookies who are one injury away from moving out of a backup role and into a starting position, and one rookie starter.

Let’s explore.

Quarterback

  1. Mike Glennon*
  2. Mitch Trubisky
  3. Mark Sanchez

Did you hear about Mitch Trubisky being elevated to QB2 status yet?

Running Back

  1. Jordan Howard
  2. Tarik Cohen
  3. Benny Cunningham
  4. Taquan Mizzell

It looks like Trubisky isn’t the only one moving up the depth chart. It wasn’t that long ago when Cohen was behind Jeremy Langford and possibly even Benny Cunningham. Alas, Cohen has made the leap from being a fourth-round pick from a non-FBS college to the No. 2 running back behind Pro Bowl second-year stud Jordan Howard. It’s a testament to the work Cohen put in this summer, including being the team’s most electrifying runner in Howard’s absence.

Wide Receiver

  1. Kendall Wright*, Kevin White
  2. Deonte Thompson, Markus Wheaton
  3. Tre McBride, Josh Bellamy

If you look hard enough, you’ll realize Kendall Wright and Kevin White are two peas in a pod. Both have prospect pedigree in being former first-round picks, both enter the 2017 season with chips on their shoulder and much to prove, and neither has much working experience with starting quarterback Mike Glennon. The Bears’ receiver corps was already skating on thin ice before Cam Meredith’s ACL injury, and things don’t look to get any easier for the team’s quarterbacks with this group as currently constructed.

Fullback

  1. Michael Burton*

Tight End

  1. Dion Sims*
  2. Zach Miller
  3. Adam Shaheen
  4. Daniel Brown

Burton made the team as its only fullback, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be active on Sunday. Sims looks the part of a modern tight end with size, agility, and body control. If the Bears have helped improved his pass catching abilities, he could turn out to be the dual threat the team dreams he becomes. Miller is the most experienced, and arguably the most talented. Shaheen was a preseason disappointment after raising eyebrows in camp. His development will be a key story line to follow on offense.


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Left Tackle

  1. Charles Leno Jr.
  2. Bradley Sowell

Left Guard

  1. Kyle Long
  2. Cody Whitehair

Center

  1. Cody Whitehair
  2. Hroniss Grasu

Right Guard

  1. Josh Sitton
  2. Cody Whitehair

Right Tackle

  1. Bobby Massie
  2. Tom Compton

Cody Whitehair is a backup at both guard positions, which is important to note because both Kyle Long and Josh Sitton missed time due to injuries last year. If either misses time in 2017, it’s likely that Whitehair will slide over into a guard spot and Hroniss Grasu will start at center – something he did eight times as a rookie in 2015.

Defensive End

  1. Akiem Hicks, Mitch Unrein
  2. Roy Robertson-Harris, Jonathan Bullard

Nose Tackle

  1. Eddie Goldman
  2. John Jenkins

Roy Robertson-Harris’ climb continues, as he wasn’t even on the three-deep when the Bears released their initial depth chart.

Outside Linebacker

  1. Willie Young, Leonard Floyd
  2. Pernell McPhee, Sam Acho

Pernell McPhee might be in the best shape of his life, and could be cleared to play this Sunday. But if he does, it doesn’t look like it will be in a starting role as Willie Young takes over those duties. Perhaps the team carefully picking its spots for McPhee, rather than press him into a starting role could be beneficial for the player and the team.

Inside Linebacker

  1. Danny Trevathan, Jerrell Freeman
  2. Christian Jones, Nick Kwiatkoski

Cornerback

  1. Prince Amukamara*, Marcus Cooper*
  2. Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller
  3. Cre’von LeBlanc, Sherrick McManis

Safety

  1. Quintin Demps, Eddie Jackson*
  2. Adrian Amos, Deon Bush

A secondary that struggled to come up with interceptions in 2016 has three new starters, including rookie safety Eddie Jackson – who has made the biggest climb up the depth chart this summer. Adrian Amos, Harold Jones-Quartey, Deon Bush, Deiondre’ Hall, DeAndre Houston-Carson, and Chris Prosinski were each listed on the three-deep when the team released its first depth chart this summer. Jackson was a bit of an afterthought, but his efforts in practice and during the preseason moved him into a starting role ahead of a two-year starter in Amos.


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Kick Returns

  1. Deonte Thompson
  2. Benny Cunningham
  3. Tarik Cohen
  4. Eddie Jackson

Punt Returns

  1. Bryce Callahan
  2. Cre’von LeBlanc
  3. Eddie Jackson
  4. Tarik Cohen

The battle for playing time as a return specialist might be the most open competition left on the Bears roster. Rookies Eddie Jackson and Tarik Cohen are dynamic, speedy players who could push themselves into increased roles as returners. However, both are relatively important players at their regular positions based on their placement on the depth chart.

Thompson and Cunningham sharing kick return duties makes sense, and both have a recent history of being successful in that role.

Specialists

  • Kicker: Connor Barth
  • Punter: Pat O’Donnell
  • Long Snapper: Andrew DePaola
  • Holder: Pat O’Donnell

This group has yet to work together in a game situation, so we’ll see how this works out when the Bears and Falcons kick off on Sunday.

*-Denotes new starter

Rookies are in italics


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Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at The Ten-Yard Line, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.


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