Chicago Bears: Surprises from the first unofficial defensive depth chart

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Chicago Bears, Training Camp
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The Chicago Bears will have a rookie defensive tackle starting on Saturday

With Eddie Goldman on the reserve/COVID-19 list, I would have thought Mike Pennel would have been the starting nose tackle. Turns out I was wrong. Apparently, rookie sixth-round draft pick, Khyiris Tonga has shown enough to take over the backup spot behind Goldman. This is significant and could mean that Pennel does not make the final roster. This would also mean that Ryan Pace found another “diamond in the rough” in the later rounds.

The rest of the defensive line seems to be about what we should have expected. Bilal Nichols and Akiem Hicks are the starting edge rushers. Behind these two are Mario Edwards and Angelo Blackson. These two should have a very good chance of making the final roster. Edwards is actually a lock, and Blackson will stay if Pennel leaves. I don’t think they will keep more than five.

Even with preseason and weeks left of training camp, I doubt that we see any big changes here unless a major injury is sustained. Goldman, Nichols, Hicks, and Edwards are going to be on the active roster. The last spot could go to Tonga, Blackson or Pennel depending on who stands out most and also which position the coaches deem more valuable — defensive end or nose tackle.