By: Aaron Shariq
The Chicago Bears have released their first unofficial depth chart prior to their preseason opener against the Denver Broncos Thursday night. As expected the starting quarterback for the Bears is Mike Glennon with Mark Sanchez in the backup role. The second overall pick in the 2017 draft, Mitch Trubisky, is listed as the third option for the Bears at quarterback.
Jordan Howard holds the spot of number one running back, which comes as no surprise after being the league’s second leading rusher in his rookie season. Behind Howard the order is, Jeremy Langford, Tarik Cohen, Ka’Deem Carey, Benny Cunningham and Joshua Rounds. Jeremy Langford began last season as the Bears starter at running back but the Bears seem very fond of rookie Tarik Cohen, the small change-of-pace back. This could develop into an intriguing position battle.
Last year’s breakout star for the Bears was receiver Cameron Meredith and with Alshon Jeffrey now in Philadelphia, the spot of number one receiver belongs to Meredith. Behind Meredith is longtime New York Giant Victor Cruz, Kendall Wright, Deonte Thompson, Rueben Randle and Tanner Gentry. The other receiver spot belongs to former seventh overall pick Kevin White ahead of Markus Wheaton, Josh Bellamy, Daniel Braverman, Titus Davis and Alton Howard.
The talented but often injured Zach Miller is listed as second for the Bears tight end spot behind Dion Sims, who joined the team via free agency this offseason. The spots behind those two belong to Adam Shaheen, Daniel Brown, Ben Braunecker and MyCole Pruitt.
The starting o-line positions will belong to left tackle Charles Leno Jr., left guard Kyle Long, center Cody Whitehair, right guard Josh Sitton and right tackle Bobby Massie. The backup o-line took a big hit this week when utility guard Eric Kush was lost for the season with a torn hamstring. The backup unit will consist of left tackle Bradley Sowell, left guard Cryril Richardson, center Hroniss Grasu, right guard Will Poehls and right tackle Tom Compton.
On the Bears defensive line, Akiem Hicks is starting at one end position, ahead of Jaye Howard Jr., Kapron Lewis-Moore and Roy Robertson-Harris. At the other end position, the Bears are starting Mitch Unrien followed by Jonathan Bullard and C.J. Wilson. Eddie Goldman proved the impact he can have on a game last year when healthy, constantly getting solid pressure up the middle. Goldman is the starter for the Bears at nose tackle, followed by John Jenkins and Rashaad Coward.
The inside linebacker position will see the tandem of young linebackers Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman as starters. The second unit will consist of Nick Kwiatkoski and John Timu and the third unit consists of Jonathan Anderson and Christian Jones.
Outside linebackers Leonard Flyod and Willie Young will start at the position for the Bears. Pernell McPhee and Sam Acho are in the second unit and the third unit consists of Lamarr Houston and Dan Skuta.
The secondary was a glaring issue for the Bears last year, a problem which they addressed heavily during free agency. The starters at both cornerback spots are both free agent signings for the Bears from this offseason. Price Amukamara is the starter at one cornerback position, followed by Bryce Callahan, Cre’Von LeBlanc and Sherrick McManis. Marcus Cooper is the starter at the other cornerback spot ahead of Kyle Fuller, B.W. Webb, Jonathan Backs and Rashaad Reynolds.
The safety position also sees and free agent starter in Quintin Demps who will be part of the starting duo of Demps and Adrian Amos. Harold Jone-Quartey and Chris Prosinski are the second unit and Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson are the third unit. Rookie Eddie Jackson is listed as the sole member of the fourth unit.
Special teams will feature Connor Barth as the kicker and Pat O’Donnell as the punter. The first option to return kickoffs is Thompson followed by Cunningham, Cohen and Jackson. Callahan is the first option for punt returns ahead of LeBlanc, Jackson and Cohen.