Chicago Bears 53-man roster projection: Prepare for some surprises

Indianapolis Colts defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) sacks Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The Chicago Bears have plenty of details to sort out over the next two months. Competitions are looming across the entire roster, both in training camp and the preseason. Some matches may not go as expected. There may also be some unfortunate injuries. It’s the NFL. That’s how it goes. Still, even now that minicamps have concluded, it’s often easier to get an idea of ​​how the final 53-man roster will eventually shake out. Sure, there may be one or two twists and turns along the way, but the big picture is pretty much set.

So in the spirit of a down time of the year, it’s time to take a proper stab at how Matt Eberflus and Ryan Poles will shape the depth chart come September.

The Chicago Bears 53-man projection features some tweaks this year.


  1. Justin Fields
  2. PJ Walker

No surprises here. The Bears had two quarterbacks on the active roster and a third on the practice squad last season. The only unanswered question will be whether Nathan Peterman or Tyson Bagent gets the final spot. Fields and Walker were pretty much set in the top two spots at the end of March.

Running backs:

  1. Khalil Herbert
  2. D’Onta Foreman
  3. Roschon Johnson
  4. Travis Homer
  5. Khari Blasingame

Eberflus only had four backs on the roster last season. Things have changed somewhere. They are much deeper now. Foreman replaces the departed David Montgomery, while Johnson is a significant upgrade over Trestan Ebner. Homer would be the extra guy. Not only is he a solid receiving threat as a back, but he is also an excellent special teams player. The Bears would like to keep it.

Wide receivers:

  1. DJ Moore
  2. Darnell Mooney
  3. Chase Claypool
  4. Tyler Scott
  5. Velasquez Jones
  6. Dante Pettis

No one will contest the top four spots. Moore and Claypool are big trade acquisitions. They become. Scott was a 4th round pick. He probably won’t go anywhere. It is the last two places that are more difficult to decide. Jones still has significant upside as a receiver and is already an established kick return threat. Pettis has a solid connection with Fields. He’s not a starter, but he can be a serviceable backup.

Tight ends:

  1. Cole Kmet
  2. Robert Tonyan
  3. Jake Tongue

In order to accommodate more running backs, the Chicago Bears must make sacrifices elsewhere. It will be at the tight end. Kmet and Tonyan form a solid one-two punch and will eat up most snaps. Tonges has decent versatility and some blocking experience. It won’t be a surprise if the team has two tight ends on the practice squad to make up for the lack of depth on the main roster.

Offensive Line:

  1. Braxton Jones
  2. Bitch Jenkins
  3. Cody Whitehair
  4. Nate Davis
  5. Darnell Wright
  6. Lucas Patrick
  7. Yes’Tyre Carter
  8. Larry Borom
  9. Gabriel Houy

The starting five appears to be set in stone, with Davis and Wright being the newcomers. Having Patrick as the primary backup is a very good thing. Carter appears to have taken a step forward in his development. Borom brings pedigree and starting experience. The big surprise here is Houy, an undrafted rookie out of Pitt. Don’t let the status fool you. When he was healthy in college, he played some really good football.

Defense line:

  1. Travis Gipson
  2. DeMarcus Walker
  3. Gervon Dexter
  4. Andrew Billings
  5. Justin Jones
  6. Zach Pickens
  7. Dominique Robinson
  8. Free agent/trading allowance*

Polakker did a solid job revamping the defensive tackle spot. It is much younger, deeper and more athletic than last season. At least it should be much better at stopping the run. The big problem is the defensive. Walker will help a little, but everyone can clearly see that this group lacks any real difference makers. Therefore, I think they will add a notable name at some point before the season, either via free agency or a trade.


  1. Tremaine Edmunds
  2. TJ Edwards
  3. Jack Sanborn
  4. Noah Sewell
  5. Dylan Cole
  6. Sterling Weatherford

An interesting battle is developing for the final outside linebacker spot between Sewell and Sanborn. Either way, both should be on the list. The last two spots will be reserved for special teams guys. Chicago signed Cole expressly for this purpose, so he’s in. Weatherford had four third-down tackles last year despite struggling with injuries. The team seems to like what he brings to the table.


  1. Jaylon Johnson
  2. Tyrique Stevenson
  3. Kyle Gordon
  4. Terrell Smith
  5. Jaylon Jones
  6. Josh Blackwell

Johnson and Gordon are starters who played well toward the end of last season. Stevenson and Smith are both draft picks this year. Both have also looked good in early training. There isn’t much drama to be had at cornerback outside of the last two spots. Even those seem relatively safe, given how well Jones and Blackwell stepped up as reserves last season. Blackwell also has great value on special teams.


  1. Eddie Jackson
  2. Jaquan Brisker
  3. Elijah Hicks
  4. Kendall Williamson
  5. AJ Thomas

Jackson and Brisker have a chance to be one of the best safety tandems in the NFL this year. Hicks was also a pleasant surprise last season when he emerged as a quality presence on special teams. He should fill the void left by DeAndre Houston-Carson. Thomas showed some progress there, while Williamson should carve out a role in that department as well. There is a lingering concern about inexperience in this scenario, but it’s a risk they can afford.

Special Teams:

  1. Cairo Santos
  2. Trenton Gill
  3. Patrick Scales

No changes compared to last season. Santos looked to be settling in after some extra point woes midway through the season. Scales remain as remarkably consistent as ever. Gill wasn’t all that great as a rookie, but he was decent enough to warrant another season to continue growing.

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