I fired off a fun Tweet over the weekend that I wanted to make sure we also addressed here at WCG, so in a series of articles, our team will give their roundtable responses on a few topics.
Yesterday, we made our picks for offensive player of the year, so today’s prompt is...
Who do you predict will be the Chicago Bears defensive player of the year?
Jeff Berckes: Give me Tremaine Edmunds. He broke out last year, but Buffalo couldn’t afford to keep him, and he landed in a system designed for his abilities to shine.
Aaron Leming: It’ll be Tremaine Edmunds. Part of me wanted to say Yannick Nagkoue here, but I’ll go with someone who received the team’s biggest free agent deal back in March. We haven’t seen a whole lot of Edmunds on the field due to a training camp injury. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the better linebackers in the league. The Bears opted not to pay Roquan Smith last year, and I think that was partly due to his “fit” in this defense. Well, Eberflus got his guy, and there’s no reason Edmunds shouldn’t be one of, if not the best, defensive player on the field for Chicago this season.
Erik Duerrwaechter: Tremaine Edmunds. The Bears spent big money on overhauling their LB corps this offseason. While we haven’t seen Tremaine Edmunds in action yet, there’s no question he’s set to be the biggest difference-maker at middle linebacker since Brian Urlacher. His savviness in pass coverage has improved to being among the league’s best in recent years. In addition, his prowess in attacking the screen and ground game will play a huge role on early downs this season. Tremaine will prove why he’s worth the investment.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: I’m expecting big things from Edmunds in Chicago’s scheme. He’s a two-time Pro Browler with 565 tackles in five years, but last year, the pass coverage responsibilities clicked for the 25-year-old, and his best football is in front of him.
Steven Schweickert: Tremaine Edmunds is the MLB in a Cover-2 type of scheme, so sign me up for him as the Bears DPOTY. But the biggest difference-maker should all go well, though. That has to be Yannick Ngakoue.
Sam Householder: Tremaine Edmunds. There are some good candidates here with Jaquan Brisker, Jaylon Johnson, and Eddie Jackson, but Edmunds should be primed to shine in a system that’s designed to make LBs shine.
Ken Mitchell: Eddie Jackson. I look forward to a huge year from him both on the field and in the locker room as a veteran leader.
Josh Sunderbruch: Jaquan Brisker. With an improved Front 7 in front of him and a year of acclimation to the NFL, Brisker should be able to do impressive things as a jack-of-all-trades thumper.
Jack Salo: Jaylon Johnson. There’s been enough talk about the cornerback opposite Johnson, and rightfully so, after the Bears traded up to select Tyrique Stevenson in April at a position with good depth. Johnson is still the man to watch, though, and in a contract year, he should ball out and get a few more interceptions than we’re used to seeing out of him.
Who do you think will be the Bears DPOTY in 2023?