The Chicago Bears have released their first "unofficial" depth chart of the 2016 season. Teams are required by the league to issue an unofficial depth chart before their first pre-season game.
While there are not a ton of surprises, there are some interesting battles shaping up at several positions.
Following the injury of last year's starting center, Hroniss Grasu, Ted Larsen has been moved into the starter's slot. Interestingly, former 2015 practice squad member Cornelius Edison is listed as backup.
The current pecking order for Chicago's new "running back by committee" is Jeremy Langford as the starter, followed by Ka'Deem Carey, Jacquizz Rodgers, and then both rookie fifth-round pick Jordan Howard and veteran special teams ace Senorise Perry listed fourth. Coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase kept four running backs on the 53-man roster in 2015.
Behind starter Jay Cutler and primary backup Brian Hoyer, the Bears list David Fales as third string and Connor Shaw fourth. Fans should expect a fierce pre-season competition in the backup QB ranks. The Bears have kept both two and three QB's on the 53-man roster in the recent past.
Another interesting position order is at WR, where behind starter Alshon Jeffery, Marc Mariani is listed as the number two. Mariani, a third-down specialist and core special teamer, appears to some on the outside of the organization to be in a competition with rookie seventh-round fan and media favorite Daniel Braverman, due to perceived similar skill sets. Mariani is also listed as the Bears primary kick returner.
One player to watch in pre-season is Deonte Thompson, listed third on the depth chart behind Jeffery & Mariani. Thompson, a four-year veteran, stabilized the Bears punt return game when he arrived in Chicago mid-year in 2015, and he has flashed as a speed wide receiver in camp this year.
On the defensive side of the ball, there are few surprises. At defensive end, Mitch Unrein is listed as the starter ahead of rookie Jonathan Bullard, but with the rotation of DE's both men will get a lot of playing time this season if healthy. Former Phil Emery draft pick Will Sutton is slotted in as second string nose tackle behind last year's rookie sensation Eddie Goldman, and Sutton's draft mate Ego Ferguson is listed as backup DE to Akiem Hicks.
Recently re-signed outside linebacker Willie Young starts at one edge across from Pernell McPhee (when healthy), while Lamarr Houston and Sam Acho are listed as primary backups. 2015 first round pick Leonard Floyd starts his Bears career slotted as a third-string player, but fans can expect to see him rotated in on passing downs early in the year.
Click below for the full article from the Chicago Bears website:
Mayer: Bears release unofficial depth chart - ChicagoBears.com - The Bears released their first unofficial depth chart Monday in advance of Thursday night's preseason opener against the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field.
What do you think of the first depth chart? Are you surprised by anything?