Without much Bears news to talk about until training camp begins, I’m going to breakdown the Bears depth chart at every position. I’ll give a high-level overview of each position, highlight potential battles for both starting roles and roster spots and point out a few players to watch.
I’ve already covered the depth chart at a few positions:
Today I will be covering the Bears depth chart at tight end. It might be the Bears thinnest position due to both a lack of depth and the injury history of the players at the top of the depth chart. Zach Miller is the clear starter at the position, but everything after that is up for grabs.
Depth Chart: Tight End
The Bears had one of the most talented tight ends in the league in Martellus Bennett, but traded him to the Patriots for a late-round draft choice because he didn’t fit the type of profile HC John Fox wants on the team. I don’t disagree, but trading Bennett left a considerable hole at the tight end position for the 2016 season.
Zach Miller stayed healthy for the first time in five seasons in 2015 and proved to be a dangerous weapon as a receiver. Can he stay healthy again? If he can, the Bears have one of the best receiving weapons in the league at the position.
History says Miller won’t be able to handle 16 games without injury. If he gets hurt the next guy on the depth chart is Rob Housler, who has been hurt almost as much as Miller but is also almost as explosive as a receiving option. Both Miller and Housler have the potential to be top ten tight ends in receiving yardage, but the Bears will need some luck to keep even one of them healthy all season.
If the Bears don’t get lucky with tight end health, then it’s going to be a shit show at the position. As of today, 2015 undrafted free agent Khari Lee would be the next man up at the position, a tight end from a small college (Bowie St) who little is known about except that he has the potential to be a good blocker with decent hands someday and GM Ryan Pace traded a 6th round pick for him last offseason.
If Lee can’t cut it, the Bears just signed veteran TE Tony Moeaki, who is on his 4th team in three years. After that the Bears have a group of undrafted free agents in Ben Braunecker, Gannon Sinclair, Joe Sommers, and a player making the transition from defensive end to tight end, Greg Scruggs. It gets ugly quick after Zach Miler and I’ll break down the options in detail below.
Next: Tight End Position Battles