Chicago Bears rank in the 30s, but not last in PFF’s NFL roster rankings

Chicago Bears roster is ranked low by PFF

The Chicago Bears have a lot of roster turnover from this overseason to overcome. With elite roster talents like Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson leaving for greener pastures, the Bears have a lot of spots that haven’t yet been filled. One analyst ranks the Bears roster in the 30s.

Major problems with the roster are seen at the wide receiver, offensive, and defensive line positions. The Chicago Bears didn’t have much capital coming into the 2022 NFL Draft for those positions. General manager Ryan Poles decided to focus on the secondary with the team’s first two picks in the second round.

PFF, partnering with ESPN, ranked all NFL team’s rosters for the 2022 season. They placed the Chicago Bears at 30th. Only the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans were ranked lower than the Bears. Here’s what PFF wrote about why the Bears are ranked so low:

Biggest strength: It shouldn’t be surprising for a team coming in at 30th overall on this list, but there isn’t a whole lot to choose from here. Chicago’s secondary has an opportunity to be much improved following the additions of Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon in the draft and slot cornerback Tavon Young in free agency. But even that requires a fair bit of projection. Jaylon Johnson improved his PFF grade by nearly 10 points to 64.3 in his second season out of Utah, and the Bears will be looking for another jump this season.

Biggest weakness: Describing the supporting cast around Justin Fields entering this season as ugly might be putting it kindly. The Bears lost their two highest-graded offensive linemen (Jason Peters and James Daniels) from a unit that finished the 2021 season ranked 21st in overall PFF grade. And Chicago’s top three wide receivers on the depth chart are Darnell Mooney, Velus Jones Jr. and Byron Pringle. That’s putting a lot of pressure on Fields’ shoulders to carry the offense to success in 2022.

X factor for 2022: The 2022 campaign for the Bears will be about finding positives to take away from their young core of players, including Teven Jenkins at tackle. Jenkins played meaningful snaps in only three games as a rookie last year after missing the beginning of the season with a back injury. His first taste of action in Week 14 came with seven pressures allowed in a matchup against the Packers, but he settled in a bit in two matchups against the Vikings. A strong season from Jenkins in 2022 would go a long way toward raising the confidence level in this offensive line moving forward.

PFF is harsh on a lot of Chicago Bears players

Many Bears players are graded harshly on PFF paper. Only one defensive player—who’s not a rookie as they have a college rating—has a rating over 70. That would be EDGE Trevis Gipson with a 70.4 score. The second-best player on the defense would be Robert Quinn, so one only wonders where the defense would rank when he leaves the Bears.

The offensive rankings are porous, especially on the offensive line. PFF also ranks running back Khalil Herbert nearly 10 points higher than David Montgomery. So take that for what it’s worth. I think Montgomery is a better running back. But then again, PFF grades linebacker Roquan Smith with a 47.1 score. Seeing the result of these “number” crunches makes me glad these “statisticians” work in sports versus something critical like healthcare.

Chicago Bears need to improve the roster soon to have success

While a lot of the PFF rankings are made up of the type of fillings put in your breakfast sausage, it shouldn’t take an expert to predict the Bears will be bad this season. The Chicago Bears will be especially short at the offensive and defensive line positions. For Justin Fields to have any chance of success getting the football to suspect wide receivers, he’ll need a more sturdy line than the one that gave up 58 sacks last season. And this offensive line appears to be notably worse.

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