Bears Have Top-10 NFL Roster (With a Caveat) Per One Analyst

You can believe the hype, but I’m of the Marvin Gaye mindset on roster predictions before September. In other words (and I’m paraphrasing) believe half of what you see, son, and none of what you hear. With that in mind, Dallas Robinson of the Pro Football Network analyzed all 32 NFL teams, and per his calculations, the Bears have the seventh-best roster in the league.

Before you get too giddy, Robinson ranks Chicago No. 15 in his current power rankings. What’s the caveat? The roster ranking eliminates each team’s quarterback from the equation. So, take it all with a grain of salt. Robinson says the Bears have a better roster than about 75% of the league if all quarterbacks were created equally. They’re not, and Caleb Williams is a rookie. The Bears are therefore ranked in the middle of his power rankings. We can chalk that up to inexperience, and rightfully so.

Still, that’s a pretty lofty rating regardless, and speaks volumes about the job Ryan Poles has done in two-plus years as Chicago’s GM. In his article, Robinson indicates that quarterbacks have an “outsized influence,” and that a game’s outcome is generally skewed by the team’s signal-caller. That tends to hurt the Chiefs and Bills, who rely a great deal on Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. For Bears fans, it’s important to note that this year’s roster would still be among the league’s best with Justin Fields or Tyson Bagent calling the plays.

The Bears have the second best roster in the NFC North based on Robinson’s analysis. That includes a wide receiver room that is arguably among the NFL’s the best.

“Williams is walking into a luxurious Bears offensive environment with no real weaknesses,” wrote Robinson. “D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, and first-round pick Rome Odunze form one of the NFL’s best WR trios.”

Robinson also noted that Williams has the best weapons of any QB drafted first overall over the past 15 years.

The Bears also have two of the league’s top 32 tight ends in Cole Kmet and Gerald Everett. Few teams can match that type of firepower. Chicago will also have a strong running game. D’Andre Swift joins a running backs room that also includes Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson. The Bears finished 7-10 last year while averaging a little more than 21 points per game. Their defense allowed about 22 points per game and still lacks a pass rush. Robinson mentioned Chicago’s defense when assessing the team’s weakness.

Montez Sweat bolstered the Bears’ pass rush after joining the club last October, posting six sacks in nine games. Chicago rarely blitzes, so it needs another edge rusher capable of winning 1-on-1 matchups. DeMarcus Walker appears likely to hold onto his starting job unless the Bears make a late free agent addition.”

Poles will add another pass rusher if he finds the right fit in free agency. That said, Gervon Dexter is poised for a breakout year. The Bears have a solid linebacking corps with Tremaine Edmunds, T.J. Edwards, and Jack Sanborn. Their defensive backfield is among the NFL’s best. Chicago’s defense is stronger than most analysts believe. It need another pass rusher and some depth to be considered truly elite, however. Let’s dig into the numbers.

  • The Bears boasted the No. 1 rushing defense in the league in 2023, allowing a total of just 1,468 yards. The unit also ranked second in rushing touchdowns allowed (8) – the second fewest in the NFL – and fourth in yards per carry (3.8).
  • After Week 4, the Bears allowed only four rushing touchdowns and zero between Weeks 4-11, which was the longest streak in the NFL.
  • Chicago tied San Francisco for a league-high in interceptions this season and tied for fifth in total takeaways with 28.
  • Jaylon earned Pro Football Focus’ best coverage defender title with a 90.8 grade. According to PFF, the cornerback allowed a 33.3 passer rating and 195 receiving yards against.
  • Sweat started the season in Washington and recorded 6.5 sacks through eight games. After being traded to Chicago on Oct. 31, Sweat produced 6.0 sacks in nine contests.

Robinson ranked the Lions No. 3, followed by the Bears, Packers (11), and Vikings (17). Chicago should contend for a postseason berth if Williams is everything scouts say he is, but they’re good enough to win without him, too. Fans of Fields have some skin in the game, too. Poles could have kept Fields and traded the top pick to fill other positions of need. The executive, like many analysts believes Williams is a generational prospect, and besides, keeping Fields was going to be too expensive.

All Bears fans, however, should be excited about the team’s roster. The addition of Williams will be huge for a team on the cusp of the playoffs if he is as advertised. Super Bowl expectations are a little over the top, but nobody should be faulted for dreaming. Keep it in check though, because Chicago lacks the depth and experience.

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