ATM: 2019’s Five Most Indispensable Bears

| August 26th, 2019

The Bears roster is interesting because it’s incredibly deep at positions like running back, wide receiver and defensive line, but have almost no depth at cornerback, tight end and offensive tackle. Perhaps a trade could be in the works, but it’s much more likely that what we see is what we get. So, here are five players the Bears can’t be without:

Roquan Smith

I thought about using Danny Trevathan here because Trevathan makes the defensive calls — an underrated aspect of any defense — but I have little doubt that Smith could take that over. Smith is so good, I think he’s going to be what Ryan Pace considers a multiplier (players who make those around them better) very soon.

I’ve highlighted issues with depth before so I don’t need to go into it too much. I will say that it was nice to see Joel Iyiegbuniwe making plays last week.

Kyle Fuller

The Bears survived much of two games without Fuller’s counterpart Prince Amukamara last year but Fuller is a different story.

Both of the team’s starting cornerbacks are good, but there were times when Prince looked a step slow and committed some silly penalties down the field. Still, Kevin Toliver II was a noticeable downgrade from him last year, so it would be even more significant should they lose their best corner.

There has been some talk that the team could slide Buster Skrine outside and have Duke Shelley play in the slot, but Skrine has been bad on the perimeter in his career and Shelley hasn’t done much this preseason.

Charles Leno Jr.

It’s entirely possible that Alex Bars is the team’s next best option at left tackle. With no disrespect to Bars, he was considered merely a draftable prospect as a guard, not a tackle.

Bars looked OK at left tackle in the preseason — he played right tackle at Notre Dame — which is certainly better than anybody else they’ve thrown out there. But he’s still an undrafted rookie who has spent almost all of his time in the NFL playing a different position.

Khalil Mack

We saw what the Bears were without Mack last year and it wasn’t pretty. Maybe Leonard Floyd will be better this year or Chuck Pagano can generate pass rush better than Vic Fangio. Aaron Lynch is an OK third edge player, but there are very few players like Mack in the league. Losing one is a team-changer.

Mitch Trubisky

Look, I get the Chase Daniel love.

He played in a game the Bears won, but have you ever re-watched that game? He wasn’t good. And he wasn’t good the next week either in a loss.

The Bears went from 10th in DVOA with Mitch last year to the 20s in just two games that Daniel played. That’s simply an incredible drop. He throws the ball away far too quickly and takes unnecessary sacks — he managed to get sacked nine times in two games last year and the team surrendered 33 all season long. No, he doesn’t turn it over a ton but those plays aren’t a lot better than a turnover.

Can they win with him? Sure. As long as they get a pick-six and play a terrible team.

Daniel is an asset to the team because he helps Mitch throughout the week and on game day. But he’s a middle of the pack backup and there isn’t a team in the league who could survive with him playing a lot of snaps.

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