As the offseason gets into full swing, we are in a great time to look back at the Chicago Bears roster. A fun way to do this is by comparing the positions rooms to the rest of their rivals in the NFC North. We will be looking at the depth charts from top to bottom to find out which rooms are the most talented, but also the most complete with depth.
Where does the Chicago Bears tight ends room rank amongst the rest of the NFC North?
4. Detroit Lions: Sam LaPorta, Brock Wright, James Mitchell
The Detroit Lions' tight end room is nearly incomplete. The three tight ends have a combined 446 yards in their NFL careers. To be fair, Wright is the oldest as he enters year three. Still, he was a UDFA and is a blocker first. Mitchell was a fifth-round rookie last season.
The prize of the group is Sam LaPorta, who was taken early in the second round. He is a pass-catching tight end from Iowa. The tight end part is not rare, but coming into the NFL as good of a pass catcher as he is would be rare for Iowa. He has plenty of upside but has not shown anything yet, so it is hard to put them much higher.
3. Green Bay Packers: Luke Musgrave, Tucker Kraft, Josiah Deguara
Detroit Lions fans will probably point at the Green Bay Packers room and say they have the same amount of unproven on their roster. Deguara has 371 yards, and that is it for the room. LaPorta was drafted ahead of both Musgrave and Kraft. All three are unproven.
Still, the small fact that the Green Bay Packers have two shots at a starting tight end while the Lions have one is what puts them over. Before the draft, all three players were in the same tier. They went slightly different in the draft order, but Kraft could easily be the best of the three, despite being the third drafted. The Packers' backup could be as good as the Lions' starter or even the Packers' starter for that manner. Still, they sneak over Detroit on depth and upside from that depth.
2. Chicago Bears: Cole Kmet, Robert Tonyan, Jake Tonges
Cole Kmet had more yards last year than all of the Packers' tight ends combined. Kmet is also still only 24 years old, so despite three more NFL seasons, he is less than two years older than Kraft, Musgrave, and LaPorta. There is a great chance Kmet leads all of them in yards this year.
Then, Tonyan is clearly the best backup for the Packers and Lions. Even coming back from a bad injury he put up 470 yards last year, which is more than Deguara in his career. Tonges is depth and will profile similarly to Deguara moving forward.
1. Minnesota Vikings: T.J. Hockenson, Josh Oliver, Johnny Mundt
While Cole Kmet is ascending, it started to look like T.J. Hockenson got there with the Minnesota Vikings. The timing of the trade and the landing spot appears to be perfect. Josh Olivee became one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL and was trusted by the Ravens, so you know he can move the line. He may bring more actual value than Tonyan because his in-line ability will only make Hockenson better as a pass catcher.
Mundt brings little to the table, but the number is one is clearly number one, and number two could make a strong case for being the best number two. The Vikings have the best tight end room in the division.