The Chicago Bears released their first depth chart of the year on Friday after holding their 8th day of training camp in Bourbonnais.
There were no big surprises as a majority of the starters are already in place, but there are some intriguing spots when it comes to the back-ups. Head coach Matt Nagy is working to install his offense and that could be the reason as to why we are seeing some players positioned where they are on the depth chart.
Here are a few interesting notes from the first depth chart:
The former second-round pick taken by the Bears in the 2017 NFL Draft is third on the depth chart at the tight end position. It comes as a bit of a surprise as the Bears were expecting Shaheen to make a big jump following his rookie season.
He wasn’t expected to start but was expected to be the back up to Trey Burton who the Bears offered a lot of money to in the off-season to sign him from Philadephia. Dion Simms will back up Burton but Simms was favored to be cut during the off-season due to his lack of production in 2017 and his large contract.
The team could be using the depth slot as a way to motivate Shaheen but if this remains the same heading into the regular season it will reflect very poorly on general manager Ryan Pace.
Wide receiver Kevin White has impressed in camp so far as he has caught multiple deep passes from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Nagy has appeared to have made White an important part to the offense, that’s why it was interesting to see White not start along side Allen Robinson but instead, back him up on the depth chart.
The starting nod goes to Taylor Gabriel who is more fitted for the slot rather than on the outside. White has the size to play on the outside to where Gabriel is one of the smallest wide receivers in the league. This position will most likely change as the pre-season goes on, but it will be important to see how deep into the games the Bears will have White play.
There are no surprises on defense as all the defensive starters are set except for Nick Kwiatkoski starting over rookie Roquan Smith at the inside linebacker position.
Smith continues his holdout and his placing on the depth chart could be a message from the team. Rookie draft pick, Kylie Fitts who has impressed in camp is third on the depth chart at the outside linebacker position behind Aaron Lynch who has not appeared in a practice yet due to a hamstring injury.
With the team playing in the Hall of Fame Game this upcoming Thursday, the depth chart will most likely change again following the game as the team will have one week before their second pre-season game against the Bengals on August 9th.