5 breakout candidates for the Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears, Jaylon Johnson
Chicago Bears, Jaylon Johnson / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Chicago Bears, Dominique Robinson

1. The Chicago Bears are expecting more from Dominique Robinson

Yes, this is a big-time ask for a breakout, and this bar is much lower for him than others. Still, some fans are easily dismissing the idea that Dominique Robinson can bring anything to the table. He had 1.5 sacks last season, and nothing about his play showed much in terms of high-end upside.

However, you have to remember who Robinson is. This is only his third year playing defense, as he went to college initially to play wide receiver. After he was drafted, the thought was that he would probably take a season to redshirt. Maybe he would get onto the field by the end of the season.

What ended up happening was that he played week one, and that is when he got his sack. So, he did not progress much, but he was thrown into the fire much faster and was running uphill from the jump. He was not eased in with the chance to show that progression.

Now, he enters year two with much more experience than expected. He will be the speed rusher of the group from where they stand right now. Even if he ends up with five sacks, it would be a huge breakout season, and well above expectations.

Still, if you said that Robinson was going to play over 500 snaps as a rookie, most would have said even that small win was ambitious. So, whatever you are expecting from Robinson, you should at least bump it up a notch.

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He may not break out in terms of being the next great pass rusher, or even leading the team in sacks. Still, if he becomes a trusted piece of the defense, even in a rotation, that is a nice breakout based on fans' expectations entering this year.