7 players the Chicago Bears are rebuilding around for 2023 and beyond
Chicago Bears Building Block: Cole Kmet, TE
In 2021, his second season as a professional, Cole Kmet had a career-high 612 receiving yards, and this season, the tight end is on pace to match that, and he already has five receiving touchdowns compared to the zero he recorded a season ago.
Kmet has quietly become one of Fields’ favorite targets, as he is currently first in receiving touchdowns for the team, as well as the second-leading receiver in catches and yards.
Kmet’s versatility and his connection with Fields early in both of their careers show that the former Notre Dame standout is a player the Bears will look to build around in the future and should continue to develop in Chicago’s four remaining contests.
Chicago Bears Building Block: Chase Claypool, WR
Much has been made about the lack of talent on this Bears offense for Justin Fields to work with, but to the front office’s credit, they went out and acquired the former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Chase Claypool for a second-round pick in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft.
Claypool has not exactly shined so far as a Chicago Bear, with 12 receptions for 111 yards in five games, but the investment the team made in the player forces them to try to keep him around for the long haul.
While his start in Chicago has been somewhat slow, fellow receiver Darnell Mooney’s season-ending injury gives Claypool the opportunity to not only continue to develop with Fields but potentially be the number-one receiver heading into 2023. If Claypool can finish the season strong, there is a chance that he becomes a long-term option for this offense as they continue to increase Fields’ passing production.
Chicago Bears Building Block: Teven Jenkins, OG
A second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Teven Jenkins was taken a round after Justin Fields, and while many believed that he could be the long-term tackle to protect the Ohio State product, back injuries and positional changes made many fans less hopeful about the player heading into his second season.
After a short holdout during the summer, Jenkins was moved to right guard where he has shown the power and ability that the Bears saw during the draft process. The Bears’ offensive line certainly has holes across the board, but Jenkins has actually been a bright spot throughout the season.
The end of the season will see many different players get chances to show what they can do on the field, including some young linemen such as Alex Leatherwood getting more snaps down the stretch, but it is undeniable how much better Teven Jenkins has played compared to some of his teammates on the line. Jenkins will certainly be a piece moving forward for this offense.