Why Mykal Walker could make the Chicago Bears 53-man roster

Mykal Walker is going to go from getting claimed off waivers to making the Chicago Bears 53-man roster
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The Chicago Bears claimed Mykal Walker on waivers, releasing linebacker Kuony Deng as the correlating move. The Atlanta Falcons released Walker, but that does not mean that he is just another training camp body. Walker has a strong chance to make the Chicago Bears roster.

Chicago Bears claim Mykal Walker on waivers

First, he started 12 games for the Atlanta Falcons last season. He played 769 snaps and has 1,350 snaps for his career. He was a former fourth-round pick in his fourth NFL season. So, he still has one year left on his rookie salary deal.

The Falcons realized that he was not in the long-term plans are letting him go early so he has a chance to catch on before his rookie salary deal expires. The Bears are taking that chance. Beyond having a role on the Falcons defense, Walker has been a core special teams option, especially when he was not starting in the 2021 season.

Walker was cut, so it is not like the Falcons loved his starting play in 2022. However, he should not be in the mix to start with the Bears. He should be in the mix to make the roster, though.

Tremaine Edmunds, T.J. Edwards, Jack Sanborn, and Noah Sewell are locks for the roster. However, the team will keep five and maybe even six linebackers. They were slotted to keep both Dylan Cole and DeMarquis Gates, but neither has practiced recently, and neither played in the preseason.

It gave way to Buddy Johnson and Micah Baskerville to get big roles and potentially show why they should fill those spots on the depth chart. However, Johnson has struggled to stick on any active roster through three NFL seasons, and Baskerville is a rookie UDFA.

Walker having starting experience and special teams experience should immediately put him over Johnson, and while Baskerville was fun in the preseason opener, he still has a long way to go to make an NFL roster.

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If Cole and Gates do not get healthy, Walker will make the Chicago Bears roster with ease. If one of them does, he still has a great chance. Even if both do, there is a case to be made that Walker is flat-out the better player and should be the fifth linebacker, not Dylan Cole. Of course, the next two weeks will determine that.