A revamped Chicago Bears roster still has work to do if it wants to continue to close the talent gap with the rest of the NFL.
Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson shares the site’s top 50 players for the 2018 season, and it doesn’t have any Bears on it. There are four Falcons, four Cowboys, three Chargers, three Giants, two Rams, two Packers, and a Viking (among others) who make the cut … but no Bears. If it feels like you’ve read this post before, it’s because you probably read something similar last year when no Bears landed among PFF’s top-50 prior to the 2017 season. It’s like déjà vu all over again.
Even though the Bears were snubbed from this list (again), there are still better vibes surround the talent assembled for the 2018 squad compared to last season. And you don’t have to look any further than Pro Football Focus for a dose of optimism regarding this team’s talent level.
Defensive end Akiem Hicks and safety Adrian Amos both cracked PFF’s list of 101 best players from 2017, so it’s not like there aren’t players worth discussing for the site’s top-50 list. Amos, who was named to PFF’s All-Pro team last season, Amos was a new entry to PFF’s top-101 as he checked in as the second-highest-ranked safety and the No. 32 overall. And even though Pro Football Focus recently pegged Amos as a player who is on the cusp of being in its elite category as he enters his walk year, he apparently has no place in its top-50. The three safeties who make the cut are Harrison Smith (Vikings), Landon Collins (Giants), and Earl Thomas (Seahawks).
Having played at a Pro Bowl level for each of the last two seasons and not being selected to make the trip, Hicks is no stranger to snubbery. Like his teammate in the secondary, Hicks was a new entry on PFF’s top-101 as the site’s 87th best player. Even though Hicks’ snub is tough to stomach, squeezing into PFF’s top-50 is a tougher challenge at a loaded defensive interior position group.
And while cornerback Bryce Callahan wasn’t going to make PFF’s top-50, his spot among football’s top tier of slot corners is cemented and shouldn’t be ignored.
At this time last year, the hope was that Jordan Howard would make the move into the top-50 and possibly joined by some other up-and-coming types among his cast of young teammates. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case in 2017 as the gap in talent between the Bears and the NFL’s best teams was on full display. The Bears certainly upgraded their talent level this offseason, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if someone like Allen Robinson or Roquan Smith makes PFF’s list in 2019. But if it’s going to happen, they’ll have to prove it on the field first.