Bears sign DT Landon Cohen; Melton to IR

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DT Nate Collins will be taking over for Melton in the starting lineup and should see the majority of the snaps, but the Bears rotate DTs aggressively so there will be plenty of playing time for the Bears 3rd DT. Collins got rave reviews from the coaches in training camp and has actually graded out higher then Melton so far this year according to Pro Football Focus. It’s unreasonable to expect Collins to perform at the Pro Bowl level Melton did in 2012, but he should be able to provide some pressure on the QB and hopefully hold up against the run as long as the Bears keep him fresh. Collins is undersized (6’2, 296) so in order to keep him from wearing down against the run, the Bears will need to rotate a 3rd and maybe 4th DT into the mix. Cohen is likely to see a considerable amount of snaps as the 3rd DT, but the Bears do have other internal options:

DT Zach Minter: I wrote about Minter here in week 1. He is an NFL quality athlete (4.8 40 time), but raw and played his college ball against inferior competition at Montana St. I would like to see Minter active Sunday and get at least a few snaps to see if he can contribute at this level. Ideally the Bears view Minter as a developmental player and were probably hoping not to need him this year, but sometimes the best way to develop a prospect is to throw them in the fire.

DE Corey Wooten / DE Julius Peppers: The Bears have already been occasionally rotating Wooten and Peppers over to DT in nickel & dime packages so both players have experience there. The Bears have more depth at DE (McClellin, Washington, Bass) so they could afford to move one of their starting DEs inside more often and not lose too much from the pass rush. Honestly, there hasn’t been much pass rush at all from the D-Line so getting McLellin or even the rookie Washington on the field for more snaps could improve the pass rush.

Twitter: @MikeFlannery_