The Chicago Bears are a trainwreck waiting to happen. Oops…they already are a trainwreck. Mitch Trubisky stinks. They even gave up future assets for that clown. He threw 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in 12 games a year ago and has zero future. Oh, wait… didn’t I tell you that was going to happen! Anway, back to the Bears, with Minnesota, Green Bay, and Detroit in the division, it’s hard not to envision them as a last-place team. What else can we expect from the 2018 Chicago Bears as we head into training camp this season?
3 Position Battles To Watch:
1. Tight End: Dion Sims, Adam Shaheen, Trey Burton
It’s hard to envision the Bears turning one of these guys into the next Travis Kelce but that’s what new head coach Matt Nagy certainly envisions. Regardless, one of these guys needs to pop because Trubisky stinks. We kind of know what we’re getting from Dion Sims at this point. About 200 yards on the season and a touchdown or two sounds right. Shaheen is an interesting prospect who the Bears are hoping is the next Gronk with an enormous frame. The former Ashland product only caught 12 passes during his rookie campaign but the potential is there. Trey Burton comes over from Philadelphia but more on him in a second.
2. Slot Receiver: Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller
Allen Robinson was signed via the Jaguars to the number one target in Chicago. The secondary receiver position is going to fascinating to watch play out. Gabriel also comes to Bear land as a free agent acquisition and can flat out fly. Gabriel’s numbers don’t pop off the charts but he’s a big play threat waiting to happen. The Bears also drafted Anthony Miller in the second round of the draft and traded up to do so. He has great hands and appears to have a future as a possession receiver with plus route running skills. Josh Bellamy also returns from last year’s team. Who knows, maybe Tarik Cohen will also be used in this role. It will be fun to see who declares himself the guy from this group.
3. Pass Rusher: Sam Acho, Aaron Lynch, Joel Iyiegbuniwe
Outside of Leonard Floyd, the Bears have a whole lot of nothing to rush the passer. That’s factoring in that Floyd isn’t really that good, to begin with. Journeymen Sam Acho and Aaron Lynch are slated to try their hand at rushing the quarterback opposite of Floyd. The two combined for 3 sacks a year ago with Lynch doing his work for San Fran in 2017. Expect teams to double team Floyd early and often because there isn’t much of a threat coming. Chicago will need some sort of breakout year from their pass rushers to make a serious run in 2018.
Ready To Breakout: Jordan Howard
I know I’m kinda cheating with this one but I don’t think people realize how good Jordan Howard is. With his third season coming up, Howard has a chance to really take a leap. Howard, 23, has rushed for over 1,100 yards in his first two years. His carry totals have also increased from 252 to 275 from year one to two. With new head coach Matt Nagy wanting to establish to run with a game manager at quarterback, Howard could be one of the true workhorse backs in the NFL. His backup, Tarik Cohen, really isn’t much more than a screen pass guy. Chicago’s offensive line is also a lot better than you might think.
Rookie To Watch: Roquan Smith
Sometimes you fall into greatness on draft day. Who would have thought Roquan Smith would have been on the board by the time the Bears picked 8th overall? Smith was one of the few can’t miss prospects in the draft this year. Coverage, range, tackling…Smith has it all. The Bears have essentially drafted their next Brian Urlacher with a chance to bring the monsters of the midway back in a few years.
Fantasy Sleeper: Trey Burton
If Trey Burton puts it all together, there’s no question he can be the next Jordan Reed. I’m not saying Burton will ever be a prolific blocker but he can make things happen in the passing game. Burton caught a career-high 5 touchdowns in 2017 and will always be remembered for throwing a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl. The former Florida product averaged over 10 yards per catch showing he is much more than a check-down option in the middle of the field. If Burton caps off a 10 touchdown season as the primary tight end option instead of hiding in Zach Ertz’s shadows, he could wind up saving your fantasy season.