The NFL schedule will be announced on Thursday, teams have all revealed their undrafted free agent classes, the final mini-wave of free agency has happened, and all the 90-man offseason rosters are coming into focus, so it’s just natural that we take a peek at the NFL Power Rankers to see what they think about the Chicago Bears.
Before we get into a few national publications, let’s check out where NBC Chicago’s Adam Hoge has the Bears ranked.
10. Chicago Bears
Despite poor quarterback play, a non-existent running game, a banged-up Khalil Mack and not having Akiem Hicks for most of the season, the Bears still went 8-8 in 2019. They have a top-five defense and just competent QB play from Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky could greatly improve the offensive output.
I’d say it’s quite bold to rank the Bears as the top team in the NFC North and as the 5th best team in the NFC, but there’s certainly a good argument to be made that they could be a bounce-back candidate after so much went wrong in 2019.
USA Today’s For The Win wasn’t quite as optimistic in their assessment of the Bears.
24. Chicago Bears
2019 record: 8-8 (-18 Point differential)
Offensive DVOA: 25th (Pass: 19 / Run: 29)
Defensive DVOA: 8th (Pass: 8 / Run: 13)
New Coaches: Bill Lazor, Offensive coordinator
Added: QB Nick Foles, EDGE Robert Quinn, TE Jimmy Graham, CB Artie Burns
Lost: CB Prince Amukamara, WR Taylor Gabriel, LB Nick Kwiatkoski, EDGE Leonard Floyd, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, OG Kyle Long
Key Draft Picks: TE Cole Kmet, Notre Dame (43rd); CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah (50th)
The Bears didn’t improve the quarterback position, so it’s hard to see this team taking a major step forward after what was a sobering 2019 season. Without much in the way of cap space or draft capital, Chicago was unable to fill in the gaps on the depth chart. Robert Quinn was really the only impact player added, so the 2020 Bears could look an awful lot like the 2019 Bears.
Last year the Bears had Trubisky and Chase Daniel as their top two QBs, and this year Foles replaces Daniel. Even if you don’t think Foles is an improvement over Trubisky, isn’t he an upgrade over Daniel?
Here’s how ESPN had it yesterday, and they also gave a post-draft winner for every team.
21. Chicago Bears
Post-free-agency ranking: 19
Player who benefited: S Deon Bush. The Bears bypassed drafting a starting-caliber safety — Grant Delpit or Antoine Winfield Jr. — and instead took tight end Cole Kmet in the second round at No. 43. Bush — chosen in the fourth round by the Bears in 2016 — spent the past four seasons as a reserve defensive back/special-teamer but now appears the favorite to open on the first team, next to Pro Bowl safety Eddie Jackson. The Bears also signed veteran Jordan Lucas to a one-year deal in free agency, but Bush’s contract contains the second-most guaranteed money of any safety on Chicago’s roster, behind Jackson, in 2020. — Jeff Dickerson
I’m guessing their NFL beat writers all turned their “winner” a few days ago as Dickerson failed to mention Tashaun Gipson who seems destined to be the starter alongside Eddie Jackson.
I still see Bush as a beneficiary of the Bears not adding a rookie safety and his roster spot seems fairly secure.
CBS Sports has the Bears the lowest at 26.
Their biggest question remains quarterback. Is it Mitch Trubisky or Nick Foles? Does it matter?
Yes, it matters.
Do you guys see the Bears closer to Hoge’s 10th ranked view through Navy and Orange colored glasses, or are they closer to being a bottom third team like the others think?
For your listening pleasure, check out our very own EJ Snyder, and his co-host Brett Kollmann, as they both breakdown the NFC North draft classes in their latest Bootleg Football Podcast.