Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus focused on filling the philosophical needs of the Chicago Bears before attacking what most have seen as their biggest weakness. The edge position was addressed in free agency with the addition of DeMarcus Walker and a lesser extent, Rasheem Green. Both players are hybrid defenders on the defensive line. After the Bears drafted three interior defenders, I expect Green and Walker to be used primarily on the outside.
After the money, Walker will be on the roster for several seasons. Green will have to prove it to stick around. Trevis Gibson is another player who must show something in training camp because his job is also on the line. Remember, Ryan Poles did not draft him, and Dominique Robinson (Poles' draft pick) had the same production as Gibson. Robinson is one of the young players who could emerge. Robinson possesses all the ideal traits as a speed rusher in a 4-3 defense.
Robinson has been compared to Whitney Mercilus, the speed to JJ Watt's power. Mercilus never became a dominant sack-getter but was always in the quarterback's face, shifting him toward the power of Watt. That would be the role and expectation of Robinson. I know what you are thinking. The Chicago Bears don't have a Watt on the roster. Rome wasn't built in a day. And if you check out my other articles, they could have some interior guys on the roster who could become Chris Jones-esq.
The Chicago Bears already have young pass-rush help on the roster
But today, we are talking about the edge guys. Looking back into the archives, you will see that D'Anthony Jones is a player to watch in 2022. I did make a mistake because I said he would be one of those players moved to the inside because of his weight. I am not a scout and don't work in NFL circles, so work with me. I thought a 6'2", 280-pound defensive lineman would move to the inside with his snap get-off and speed-to-power.
I also thought he would have been drafted sometime on day three ( I could have said day two, but I don't remember fully). Jones hardly rushed from the inside but was a terror from the outside. He and his teammates started calling themselves "Sack Ave." Jones is very confident in his ability to play football. Jones blames an injury that cost him the ability to get drafted this season.
Jones is a wildcard because I don't remember reading or seeing anything on an injury. Also, he is short, heavy, and has short arms to play on the edge. So why do I believe that he has a chance to make it as a Chicago Bear? Jones has the most passion, effort, and confidence than any other rookie on the Bears. He wasn't even originally signed after the draft. Jones had a try-out during the rookie minicamp, turned some heads, and earned his right to go to OTAs and training camp.
Jones's best ability as an exterior defender is his power. Darnell Wright's best ability as a blocker is his anchor. If Jones can show that he can drive Wright even a little bit, he could find himself on the 53-man roster. With the leverage of Aaron Donald (not calling him AD), Jones could have one of the unique pass-rushing styles as an edge defender in the game. Jones is their guy if the Bears want to dent the pocket all over the circumference.