We have been ranking the Chicago Bears in comparison to the rest of the NFC North all offseason. So far, we have already discussed the offensive side of the ball, and we will shift to defense. We will be looking at the interior defensive linemen. This will focus mainly on the top four men in the two-deep rotation from the nickel alignment.
4. Minnesota Vikings: Khyiris Tonga, Harrison Phillips, Dean Lowry, Jaquelin Roy
If the group is expecting a heavy presence from Tonga, it has to be this low. Tonga got some work for the Vikings last year, and they won enough games, but it was not their defense holding it down. Harrison Phillips has been a journeyman as well. They added Dean Lowry, but he was best as depth for the Green Bay Packers, and Roy is a day-three rookie. The lack of high-end talent and questionable depth makes it easy to throw them in the bottom spot.
3. Detroit Lions: Isaiah Buggs, Alim McNeil, Christian Covington, John Cominsky
Isaiah Buggs has bounced around a bit from the Pittsburgh Steelers to here, but he looks like he found a role. Still, the Lions could have upgraded. They did sign Covington, and they are hoping that McNeil can stay healthy and take a step forward, but he brings a question mark as well. John Cominksy is an inside-outside rusher, and his versatility as a fourth rusher helps this group. They have some depth and a little more success playing together, but they are fighting with Minnesota at the bottom.
2. Chicago Bears: Justin Jones, Gervon Dexter, Andrew Billings, Zacch Pickens
The Chicago Bears sailed up this room, almost by default. Justin Jones is back for year two and at least brings some stability. You can rank him over guys like Harrison Phillips and Isaiah Buggs. Dexter and Pickens bring more upside and excitement than anyone on the Lions or Vikings, and Billings is a trusted nose tackle. The combination of average starters and some upside rookies is enough to make them second with ease.
1. Green Bay Packers: Kenny Clark, Devonte Wyatt, TJ Slaton, Karl Brooks
Kenny Clark alone is about all the Green Bay Packers needed to top this list. He is the best player in this group, and none of the other three units have much to offer to make the case for being number one. Wyatt did not show much in year one, but he is a former first-round pick. Slaton showed flashes, and Brooks is a rookie. The room is not elite, but certainly the best in this division entering the 2023 season.