Four Chicago Bears players were named to the first-team AP All-Pro team that was released Friday morning. Linebacker Khalil Mack, cornerback Kyle Fuller, free safety Eddie Jackson and punt returner Tarik Cohen were all named to the team.
Chicago ended up tying for the most All-Pro nominations with the Kansas City Chiefs, who also had four players named to the team. This marks the first time the Bears have had four first-team All-Pros since 2006, when Olin Kreutz, Brian Urlacher, Devin Hester and Robbie Gould all received the honor. It also marks the first time the Bears have had any All-Pros since the 2014 season, when Kyle Long was named to the second team.
The Bears’ defense was arguably the best in the league during the 2018 regular season, a statement backed up by the return on All-Pro nominations. Leading the league in takeaways and points per game allowed and allowing the lowest passer rating in the NFL, the unit has been rock solid all year and is a huge reason that Chicago is currently in the playoffs.
Of the four players voted first-team All-Pro, Mack is the only player to have been named an All-Pro before, having been a first-team All-Pro twice with the Oakland Raiders. A blockbuster addition via trade right before the regular season, he provided the Bears with a dominant force at edge rusher who pummeled offensive tackles and opened up opportunities for his teammates. He finished the regular season with 12.5 sacks, 47 tackles and six forced fumbles in 14 games.
Just one season after being on the roster bubble, Fuller broke out in a huge way to become one of the NFL’s elite at the cornerback position. He was an absolute machine all year, shutting down many of the league’s best receivers and making plays on the ball on a consistent basis. He ended the year with seven interceptions - a total that ties for the league’s best - and 21 pass deflections in 16 games.
Jackson put together a good rookie season in 2017, but the improvements that he made in his second year were nothing short of incredible. The instinctive, rangy ball-hawk provided the Bears with a turnover threat at safety that they hadn’t had since Mike Brown. Jackson had six interceptions, 15 pass deflections, 51 tackles, three defensive touchdowns and two forced fumbles in 14 games this year.
After an overachieving rookie year, Cohen proved yet again to be a valuable player for Chicago both on offense and on special teams. In addition to tallying 1,169 total offensive yards and eight touchdowns from scrimmage, the second-year running back had a great year returning punts. He led the league in both punt returns and return yards, with 33 and 411, respectively. His 12.5 yards-per-return average placed fifth in the league, despite having at least 10 more returns than any other returner ahead of him.