What does the tight end depth chart look after the Chicago Bears offseason?
Now that the Chicago Bears offseason is officially over, and the roster is filled, it is a good time to look back at what the depth chart looks like. Tight end has been the most discussed position as the team invested major assets in an overhaul of the position.
So, now that the position is completely renovated, what does it look like? Before we get started, we know the differences in roles between the tight ends, and that multiple will play. We are ranking them based on the likelihood of total snaps played.
1. Jimmy Graham
In most scenarios in which Graham is healthy, he is the one who leads the team in snaps. Graham has lacked efficiency in recent years, but Matt Nagy noted that Graham will be in a different role in Chicago. It is true that he will be a move player much more in this offense as he is replacing Trey Burton on the depth chart.
2. Cole Kmet
Graham made up for the mistake of Burton while Kmet was drafted to replace the mistake in Adam Shaheen. Kmet played in-line more than Graham and by all accounts will play the most in-line snaps of this group as well. Kmet may not play as much as Graham in 2020, but he is a big piece of this offense.
3. Demetrius Harris
Harris has developed as an in-line blocker more than he has as a receiver. That is a bit of a surprise, but it does give Harris a great chance to establish a role n Chicago this year. With Harris and Kmet in-line, it should free up Graham more than he has been in recent years.
4. J.P. Holtz
Holtz has a trump card over the rest depth options due to his experience at h-back. The Bears had success running the ball behind Holtz, and while they added extra blockers and will rely on him less, his versatility should keep him on the team.
5. Jesper Horsted
This is the line where we may see these players on the roster bubble. Horsted has progressed as a receiver but was in over his head last year as a UDFA rookie. A year on the practice squad may do well for him, and that seems to be the Bears plan now that they’ve added depth.
6. Ben Braunecker
This could be the end for Braunecker. He could easily pass up Holtz with a strong showing and has never been counted out before. However, he is not under team control beyond this year, and we have seen his heights, while Holtz and Horsted may have more to show.
7. Eric Saubert
Saubert has bounced around the NFL from Atlanta to New England. His NFL experience will help him, but he is here as insurance to add depth.
8. Darion Clark
Clark is a former basketball player making the transition. A year on the practice squad would mean that he showed the coaches something, and would be a best-case scenario.
9. Adam Shaheen
Fans are going to snicker, but in terms of likelihood to be on the 2021 version of this depth chart, Shaheen is dead last. Clark could stick to the practice squad. Even if injuries came, Saubert seems more likely to find a roster spot. When Shaheen was scratched to the season it was a sign that his Chicago career was over.
Four and maybe the five tight ends will make the roster. The top three are locks, while 4-6 on the list seem to be competing for one or two spots. Horsted and Clark are likely practice squad stashes of the group.