Chicago Bears
Can Riley Ridley factor into the Chicago Bears offense as a rookie? What else is trending in Bear country as the team opens training camp in 2019? (Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Chicago Bears were surprise winners in the NFC North in 2018. That doesn’t mean it will be easy to repeat. The Packers will be back. The Vikings probably aren’t dead either. Chicago also will suffer from the loss of Vic Fangio and the weakest incoming rookie draft class. The Bears defense is elite but how far can they truly carry them? Let’s take a deep dive in on the Chicago Bears 2019 training camp preview!

3 Position Battles To Watch:

Running Back: Tarik Cohen, Mike Davis, David Montgomery, Taquan Mizzell, Kerrith Whyte Jr.

Jordan Howard was traded away which opens up an opportunity for someone else to be the bell cow back. I don’t think the Bears want Tarik Cohen to be that guy either. I think they are happy with the way they used him a year ago. You don’t want to burn the little guy out either. On the surface, this looks like a two horse race between Mike Davis and rookie David Montgomery. Both have that Jordan Howard body type too. Don’t sleep on Taquan Mizzell. He might be more explosive than both of them. I’d love to see him get a bigger opportunity.

Wide Receiver: Allen Robinson, Riley Ridley, Anthony Miller, Taylor Gabriel, Marvin Hall, Emmanuel Hall, Javon Wims, Cordarrelle Patterson

The defense is pretty locked down starter wise. That leaves it to the offense to continue to improve. The Bears weapons return most of the faces from last year. Allen Robinson is the clear cut one. Anthony Miller is the burner on the outside. Taylor Gabriel comes in a similar mold. Riley Ridley can run crisp routes and get open. Maybe the Bears hit one of the other guys. It might not have a star but this is a deep group.

Defensive Tackle: Bilal Nichols, Jonathan Bullard, Anderson Abduallah

This defense is loaded. If there is one place to improve, it’s the defensive line. Not like Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman can use more help anyway. Bilal Nichols is the odds on favorite to start. Nichols had 3 sacks as a rookie from Delaware He is a player that had a dominant East-West game two years ago that caught my eye. Don’t be shocked if he becomes a real difference maker.

Ready To Breakout: James Daniels

Let’s give some love to the center. James Daniels has quietly emerged as one of the best in the business. Daniels was so good as a rookie that he took Cody Whitehair and stuck him in his back pocket. That guy wasn’t getting his job back. Daniels can do it all. He’s really athletic and excels at those reach blocks. Matt Nagy must love having a center like this. Heading into year two, the sky’s the limit.

Rookie To Watch: Riley Ridley

Let’s discuss Riley Ridley a little more. This is not a loaded rookie class coming in but I’m excited about Ridley. He’s not Calvin athletically. That much is true. The excellent route running ability does run in the family somehow. He’s a sneaky player and that skill set normally translates to the pros more often than not.

Fantasy Sleeper: Trey Burton

I can’t believe I went this long without stating the obvious. Mitch Trubisky is god awful. I would NEVER take a Bears player in fantasy outside of Trey Burton or Tarik Cohen. Burton is the best chance to grab some touchdowns so I’ll go with him. Tight end is a weak positio in fantasy and Burton continues to improve every single year.