53-Man Roster Projection: Defensive Line

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 16: Detroit Lions running back Tion Green
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 16: Detroit Lions running back Tion Green /

We examine the Chicago Bears defensive line and who will make the 53-man roster.

While there are plenty of positions on the Chicago Bears roster that are still up for grabs, it’s highly likely that the defensive line is pretty much set. There is no chance the Bears carry 7 defensive linemen, and while in theory, they could try to cut down to only 5 defensive linemen, odds are that the Bears carry 6.

When you examine the defensive line, it’s obvious that the two top dogs are Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman. They are obviously locks and they don’t need to be discussed any further than that.

Who will start opposite Hicks as the other defensive end in the team’s base defense is still a question, but it’s clear that the competition for that spot is between Roy Robertson-Harris and Jonathan Bullard. Both of those individuals are also locks to be a part of the Bears 53-man roster against the Packers week one.

John Jenkins isn’t a spectacular player, but he’s solid and is the only other player on the team that can be a true nose tackle other than Goldman. Because of that unique skill, Jenkins also figures to be a part of the team.

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Bilal Nichols hasn’t been spectacular in the preseason, but he’s been solid enough on the back-end of a group that doesn’t have heavy competition. The team invested a fifth-round pick in Nichols so there’s very little reason to think that he doesn’t make the 53-man roster.

At this point, there isn’t a lot of other competition. Expect the Bears to keep another defensive lineman on the practice squad, and the leader in the clubhouse for that spot right now has to be Cavon Walker. But to call Walker a long shot to make the 53-man roster out of the gate is an understatement.

This unit is pretty well set. Perhaps the Bears decide to only keep five defensive linemen and jettison Jenkins, but that seemingly is the only possibility that might change this group. Of all the position groups, this is the one that’s most set. Expect the Bears to keep those six players on their roster and one additional defensive lineman on the practice squad.

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53-Man Roster Prediction: DEFENSIVE LINE (6): Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Roy Robertson-Harris, Jonathan Bullard, John Jenkins, Bilal Nichols