The Chicago Bears are coming off a disappointing 2021 season that ushered in the start of a new era with general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus. The hope is this Ryan-Matt duo will be able to guide the Bears back to relevance.
With the NFL draft fast approaching, Poles still has plenty of work to do with the current roster, which features some glaring holes at positions of need. Positions like wide receiver, offensive line and defensive back remain huge concerns.
Here at Bears Wire, we’re going position by position to break down where Chicago stands entering the 2022 NFL draft. It’s time to look at the offensive line, which remains a top priority for Poles.
Who’s on the roster?
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The Bears figure to have four starters currently on the roster in Teven Jenkins, Cody Whitehair, Larry Borom and Lucas Patrick, who’s the newest addition. But aside from Whitehair at left guard and Patrick at center, there are questions about where the others will line up. That all depends on what Poles does in the NFL draft. If he decides that Jenkins or Borom aren’t the answer at left tackle, he could draft one and move either Jenkins or Borom to right tackle and kick the other inside at right guard.
Who departed this offseason?
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Poles is rebuilding the offensive line in his vision, which is why guys like James Daniels and Germain Ifedi departed in free agency. With the loss of Daniels, the Bears have a vacant right guard spot to fill. Chicago tried to bring in Ryan Bates to fill it, but Buffalo matched his offer sheet. Ifedi started last season at right tackle, but he was replaced by rookie Larry Borom when Ifedi went down with an injury. The Bears also lost some depth players in Elijah Wilkinson and Alex Bars.
Positional need: High
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
The offensive line remains a top priority for Poles heading into the NFL Draft, where they could look to address both offensive tackle and offensive guard. While Poles added a couple of offensive linemen in free agency, there are still questions about who will occupy the starting tackle and right guard spots. Chicago could certainly use one of their two second-round picks on an offensive lineman.
Top draft prospects
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The Bears will likely be in the market for an offensive tackle and/or interior lineman in the NFL draft. But some of the draft’s top prospects will be long gone by the time the 39th overall pick rolls around.
OT Evan Neal
OT Ikem Ekwonu
OT Charles Cross
C Tyler Linderbaum
OT Trevor Penning
There are still some intriguing options for the Bears at offensive line on Day 2. Some tackles that could still be on the board include Central Michigan’s Bernhard Raimann, Tulsa’s Tyler Smith, Minnesota’s Daniel Faalele and Ohio State’s Nicholas Petit-Frere. Some interior linemen that should be available for Chicago include Tulsa’s Chris Paul, Chattanooga’s Cole Strange and Georgia’s Jamaree Salyer.
2022 NFL draft position previews
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