We are looking back at the Chicago Bears position-by-position to see where the team stacks up against their division rivals. Today, we are comparing the safety room to the rest of the NFC North. This will focus on the top four safeties on the roster and will rank the room as a whole from starters down to depth.
4. Green Bay Packers: Darnell Savage, Rudy Ford, Jon Owens, Tavarius Moore
Darnell Savage is a former first-round pick entering a key fifth year for the Green Bay Packers. He has been solid, but his play has hit a bit of a peak, and his missed tackles are becoming an issue. Rudy Ford started six games last year, but he has mainly been a reserve for his career, and he is now in year seven, at age 29. Even if you trust Ford to keep ascending after a promising year, and even if you think Savage can bounce back, it is hard to say this group can get much higher. Both Owens and Moore bring little confidence as depth options, and some of the other rooms have real talent.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Harrison Smith, Lewis Cine, Cam Bynum, Josh Metellus
Harrison Smith is a known name, and it is almost hard to justify ranking any room with him in it third. Still, he will be 34, and the depth around him has enough questions. Cine is a former first-round pick, but he missed almost all of his rookie season with a devastating injury.
Bynum did fine filling in for him, and Metellus has shown to be a capable depth and special teams option as well. The room is much more well rounded than Green Bay, and has more top-end talent.
2. Detroit Lions: Tracy Walker, Kerby Joseph, Brian Branch, Ifeatu Melifonwu
The Vikings cannot get much higher because this group looks set to break out. Tracy Walker is coming off of missing most of the 2022 season, but this did help get Kerby Joseph on the field earlier, and he shined. Between the reliability of Walker and the athletic upside of Joseph, they have a strong tandem.
Brian Branch adds a fascinating wrinkle of depth as well. They can move these safeties into many roles, and even CJ Gardner-Johnson has to be mentioned, although we listed him as a slot cornerback. Melifonwu is mainly just a depth piece, but 1-3, they have a solid group.
1. Chicago Bears: Eddie Jackson, Jaqaun Brisker, Elijah Hicks, Kendall Williamson
This may be wearing the Bear Goggles because Detroit and Minnesota are solid groups, but the Chicago Bears may have something special. Eddie Jackson appears to be ready to return from his injury, and if you do not remember, he was back to being a top-ten caliber player when we last saw him. The Bears were finally using him correctly again.
Also, the addition of Jaquan Brisker made the life of Jackson so much easier. Brisker is a box safety who is ready to break out in year two. He flew under the radar last year and finished by hitting the rookie wall, but everything he did shows a huge jump next year. Hicks showed to be reliable on special teams, and Williamson is a rookie. The other two may have the depth, but we will take the top two over any group.