Chicago Bears 2016 Position Preview: Defensive Line

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

As the Chicago Bears enter into year two of their rebuild, there are a lot of decisions to be made on who will be part of the team moving forward. 2015 was a rough season for the Bears, but despite a 6-10 record they were more competitive than they were in 2014 and some players stepped up and became possible building blocks for the future.

At the post-season press conferences head coach John Fox identified rookies Adrian Amos and Eddie Goldman as future building blocks on defense and also mentioned the offense being built around Jay Cutler next year, but who else is part of the Bears plan for the future?

I’m started my 2016 positional preview with the quarterback position and will be rotating back and forth between offense and defense over the next few weeks. I’ll be identifying players who are clear building blocks for the future, players who are on the roster bubble for next season, and those players who will most likely be in a new city in 2016.

2016 Bears Position Preview: Defensive Line

Building Blocks:

Eddie Goldman – Made the NFL All-Rookie Team and was one of only two players mentioned by HC John Fox at the end of the season as building blocks for the future on defense (w/ Amos).  Goldman started the season slow and looked over-matched at first, but once he was forced into the starting lineup by the release of Ratliff he started playing up to his talent level.

Before his injury in week 15, Goldman had a stretch of six or seven games where he was the Bears best d-linemen. He held his ground against double teams and helped turn around a Bears run defense that was getting gouged earlier in the season. Goldman’s best performance came in week 13 against the 49ers when he had two sacks, was in the backfield all day, and blocked a PAT.

He finished the season with 4.5 sacks which was fourth on the Bears and also 4th among all NFL rookies. Goldman just missed a few more sacks with 13 QB hits and 6 QB hurries. He’s locked in as the Bears starting nose tackle next season and is primed for big things.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /

Ego Ferguson – A former 2nd round pick in 2014 who was considered a development pick when drafted. After a rough rookie season, Ferguson was beginning to flash the talent that got him drafted early last season before he was placed om injured reserve due to a knee injury.

Ferguson has the size (6’3 | 310), strength, and athleticism to be a key part of the Bears defensive line in 2016 and is just too talented to let go for nothing. He’s under contract until 2017, so unless the Bears consider him unhealthy or hopeless there is no reason to get rid of him. Ferguson could be used as a back-up to Goldman on passing downs or line-up next to him at the 5-tech. The Bears have so little upside talent on the d-line that they need to try and develop Ferguson.