I’m not saying that they all will, but there’s at least a solid argument that could be made for all those day three guys sticking.
It was a top heavy draft class for Chicago and not having any selections in the middle rounds makes projecting where these players fit on the depth chart that much more difficult. But I am going to take a stab at it anyway, because, well, it’s no fun to wait until July to think about these things.
Justin Fields, QB
Rest of position group: Nick Foles, Andy Dalton
Where he fits: I think that day one Matt Nagy is going to be adamant that Fields is the No. 3 QB. But I imagine by the end of the first week of training camp he’ll be getting the majority of the second reps. I would guess that by week one he’ll at least be the No. 2 behind Dalton.
Teven Jenkins, OT
Rest of position group: Germain Ifedi, Lachavious Simmons, Badara Traore, Elijah Wilkerson, Larry Borom
Where he fits: Following the release of Charles Leno on Monday, it would appear that starting left tackle is Jenkins’ job to lose. Granted, that’s a big ask for a rookie but the kid is going to get a trial by fire, barring some kind of late veteran signing.
Larry Borom, OT
Rest of position group: Germain Ifedi, Lachavious Simmons, Badara Traore, Elijah Wilkerson, Teven Jenkins
Where he fits: Assuming that they do intend to keep him at tackle, I would suspect he’ll be battling for a spot backing up Ifedi with Lachavious Simmons and Badara Traore. Simmons was a seventh round pick a year ago, for what that may be worth.
Khalil Herbert, RB
Rest of position group: David Montgomery, Damien Williams, Tarik Cohen, Ryan Nall, Artavis Pierce
Where he fits: As a rookie, I am not sure. The team seems to like his special teams value, so maybe it’s there, but this is a position group that may appear top-heavy, but has some depth. Sitting here in May, I think Herbert is the fourth back right now, due to his return skills.
Dazz Newsome, WR
Rest of position group: Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, Anthony Miller, Damiere Byrd, Marquise Goodwin, Rodney Adams, Thomas Ives, Riley Ridley, Javon Wims, Jester Weah, Reggie Davis
Where he fits: This is another position room that is crowded with a lot of offseason bodies (Ives, Adams, Weah, Davis) but also has some established NFL vets. Newsome faces a bit of an uphill battle to make the final roster, but it’s also easy to see his punt return ability could give him a leg up. Not to mention that it seems like the organization is over Wims and Miller.
Thomas Graham Jr., DB
Rest of position group: Desmond Trufant, Jaylon Johnson, Artie Burns, Tre Roberson, Duke Shelley, Kindle Vildor, Teez Tabor, Xavier Crawford, Michael Joseph
Where he fits: It would appear to me that he’ll be in a roster battle with Vildor, Shelley, Roberson and Burns, perhaps, mostly for the nickel role. It seems like that’s a longshot for a rookie, but Graham was highly thought of before he opted out of the 2020 season. This is another position room that is quite crowded so it’s hard to see where the staff sees everyone’s role.
Khyiris Tonga, NT
Rest of position group: Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols, Angelo Blackson, Lacale London
Where he fits: Despite being a seventh-round pick I think that Tonga might have a role as a rookie just because of the lack of depth. Nichols and Goldman are really the only names you know here and Goldman doesn’t really have an equal. Nichols played well last year, but he doesn’t have quite the size of a true nose. Tonga, if he can get up to speed, can have an immediate role spelling Goldman.
Where do you see these rookies fitting in for the 2021 season?