With the down period in the NFL offseason, what does the Chicago Bears depth chart look like?
With the long wait between the NFL draft and whatever our next football activity is, there will be little roster movement. As the roster is set for a few months, it is a good chance to go back position by position and look into what the depth chart looks like.
1. Akiem Hicks
A healthy Hicks would go a long way. There is a huge difference between the Bears defense with Hicks on the field and with him off of it. He is clearly atop the depth chart.
2. Eddie Goldman
Goldman is the nose tackle but has been second amongst defensive lineman in snaps. He has enough pass-rushing presence, and is a force against the run, making him an underrated player.
3. Bilal Nichols
Nichols has increased his snap count every year and has a serious chance to pass Goldman in snaps played in 2020. For now, he is the emerging number three, and a strong one.
4. Roy Robertson-Harris
Robertson-Harris is in a contract year. He is an unrestricted free agent this year, where he was restricted this year. The team can expect a motivated player, but it may be his last season on the roster.
5. Brent Urban
The Bears added Urban who should well against the run last year. So, they brought him back on a one year deal. With the depth and his experience, he is likely to slot in as a solid early-down edge setter.
6. Abdullah Anderson
Anderson was the backup nose tackle last year. Without much competition added, he should be the leader in the clubhouse for that spot until he is knocked off.
7. John Jenkins
Jenkins was the backup nose tackle for Chicago in 2017. In 2018, he went to New York with the Giants and in 2019 he went to Miami. Now, he is back. There is a very real chance that with his veteran experience he will show up Anderson in practice. Still, Anderson is cheaper and was with the group last year, so Jenkins needs to beat him.
8. Trevon McSwain
McSwain was a two-year starter and a redshirt senior at Duke. He did not stand out at Duke but has length, and profiles to fill a role similar to Brett Urban. Still, he is a practice squad candidate in 2020 more than an Urban replacement.
9. Lee Autry
Autry was a JUCO transfer to Mississippi State. Autry played sparingly in 2018 and 2019, registering 0.5 sacks, and 2.5 tackles for loss. He was a bit less productive than McSwain but faced SEC competition for two seasons.
It could be argued that Urban is not a lock, but between five through seven on the list, two are going to make the roster. Jenkins and Urban are the veterans, but Anderson is younger and has progressed each year from a UDFA in 2017. Whichever of the three gets cut will not have practice squad eligibility. The bottom two on this roster are going to have a very hard time cracking the roster and are much more likely to be practice squad candidates.