Preseason Roster Battle: Taquan Mizzell vs. Ryan Nall

TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 11: Running back Ryan Nall
TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 11: Running back Ryan Nall /

After two preseason games, who has stood out between Taquan Mizzell and Ryan Nall?

Coming into training camp, we knew that the odds of the Chicago Bears retaining Mizzell AND Ryan Nall was not favorable. Then, Michael Burton was thrown into the mix early and often over the last two preseason games.

Now, with Tarik Cohen, Jordan Howard, and Benny Cunningham well ahead of the two, it appears as though both making the roster is impossible. In fact, there is a much better chance that neither makes it. Still, the construction of the roster could certainly still allow for one to make the team. So, who has taken advantage so far?

Playing Time

The fact of the matter is that through two games, Taquan Mizzell is ahead of Ryan Nall in the pecking order. Ryan Nall has not been able to get onto the field in the first half. Mizzell saw the field early in the Hall of Fame game and came out with the starters in the first preseason game.

He lined up next to Mitchell Trubisky for the duration of the Trubisky snaps and even saw almost every snap Chase Daniel took. Nall is paired up with Tyler Bray.

On the field play

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This should not be a huge surprise, though. Mizell has been in the NFL while Nall was just added as a UDFA this offseason. It is going to take time for Nall to prove himself and move up the depth chart. Has he done so?

Not necessarily. Yes, Nall ripped off a 69-yard huge run. Still, the run was a natural break to the outside and a sprint into space. Nall has been pedestrian otherwise. In fact, taking the run out Nall has had 15 carries for 39 yards.

You may think that is bad until you realize that Taquan Mizzell has 17 carries for 42 yards in two games so far. The 2.6 yards per carry looks bad for Nall until you see 2.5 from Mizzell. Nall has two receptions for 14 yards, Mizzell has two receptions for 11 yards.

Now, you add the big run back in. Nall is better than Mizzell without it and has an impact play as well which Mizzell cannot claim.


If rosters were limited to 53 players today, would either of these two make the team? Seems unlikely. Still, it is quite clear that while Mizzell was given great opportunities early into the preseason that he is losing this battle so far.

While Nall has not necessarily taken reigns on this job, he has been the better on the field performer so far. His progression from week to week was vital to see as a player getting used to the speed of the game.

The Chicago Bears have done an excellent job of moving players who warrant more playing time up. With Howard, Cohen, and Cunningham potentially in the mix next week there may be fewer snaps overall.

Still, do not be surprised if Nall starts to dip into Mizzell’s time or if the two begin to see a flop in depth chart standing.