Where did the Chicago Bears go wrong in 2019? Simply put Matt Nagy ran out of plays to hide how horrendous Mitchell Trubisky is. A great defense and genius offensive coach can only take a terrible quarterback so far. The team looked promising in 2018 but have taken a massive step back. Now with their backs against the salary cap wall and very limited draft capital what’s in store for 2020? Let’s take a look as the Chicago Bears training camp opens.
3 Position Battles To Watch:
Quarterback: Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles
Look, not to point out the obvious but quarterback is by far the most important position battle in the Chicago Bears training camp. Mitch Trubisky was an atrocious pick by Ryan Pace. Mitch Trubisky is very confident that the Bears are still his team but they clearly aren’t. Nick Foles would not have been brought in if the Bears were still Trubisky’s team. We’ve seen the good with Nick Foles in Philadelphia, we’ve seen the bad with Nick Foles in Jacksonville and the ugly with Nick Foles in St. Louis. Mitch Trubisky has never shown the upside that Nick Foles has. Nick Foles will be the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears by week 3 at the latest.
Cornerback: Buster Skrine, Artie Burns, Jaylon Johnson
The Chicago Bears’ defense peaked in 2018 and it’s been falling apart at the seams ever since. After losing Bryce Callahan to the Broncos before the 2019 season and cutting Prince Amukamara in the 2020 off-season the Bears are looking for a corner to play opposite of Kyle Fuller. Buster Skrine was a 5th round draft pick in 2011 and had his best year in 2014 with the Cleveland Browns. Skrine had 18 pass breakups and 4 interceptions that year, he has been unable to repeat that performance since. Artie Burns was a 1st round pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2016 but completely flamed out and signed with the Bears in the 2020 off-season. Since the veteran options aren’t too enticing, let’s look at some young blood. Jaylon Johnson was a 2nd round pick for the Chicago Bears in the 2020 NFL Draft. Johnson finished his final year at Utah with 2 interceptions and 10 pass deflections. Johnson is the younger and much cheaper option, development for the future could definitely impact this position battle.
Nose Tackle: John Jenkins, Lee Autry
Eddie Goldman has opted out of the 2020 NFL Season so the Chicago Bears have to find a replacement. John Jenkins and Lee Autry are the only other nose tackles on the Chicago Bears’ depth chart. John Jenkins is back for his second stint with the Bears, the first one lasted for the 2017 season where he played in 8 games. Jenkins played 16 games for the Miami Dolphins in 2019 and recorded 30 tackles, 1 sack and 1 pass deflection. Lee Autry is a rookie out of Mississippi State. In his final season of college football, Autry had 12 tackles. 2.5 TFLs and half a sack in 5 games. It’s another veteran against a rookie for this spot. Will experience or potential prevail?
Ready To Breakout: Anthony Miller
The wide receivers for the Chicago Bears are Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller. Anything after those two is a crapshoot. It’s time for Anthony Miller to take a step forward and be a reliable asset for Nick Foles. Miller had career bests in catches (52) and yards (656) in 2019. That was with a horrendous Mitch Trubisky, adding Foles gives Anthony Miller the chance to shine.
Rookie To Watch: Jaylon Johnson
As I mentioned earlier, Jaylon Johnson has a real shot to start for the Chicago Bears. His competition is a 1st round bust and an aging player who’s best days are far behind him. Johnson was extremely productive in college, he collected 102 tackles, 3 TFLs, 1 sack, 7 interceptions and 21 pass breakups in 37 games at Utah. Johnson could possibly win the starting corner job based on potential and when he does keep your eyes out.
Fantasy Sleeper: Ryan Nall
So this part took quite a while to figure out because I don’t really believe in any Bears offensive players. In terms of fantasy, Allen Robinson is the only viable option. So my fantasy sleeper is a DEEP sleeper, his name is Ryan Nall. Ryan Nall stands at 6’2 and weighs 239 pounds. He was an undrafted free agent in 2018 and was signed by the Bears out of Oregon State. He finished his college career with 2216 rushing yards, 24 rushing touchdowns, 563 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns. Nall is a between the tackles bruiser and the Bears will look to him to get ugly redzone touchdowns.