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Forecasting the Bears' Starting Defense Post-2024 NFL Draft


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Vince Carbonneau
May 3, 2024  (12:19)
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Matt Eberlfus in action
Photo credit: ESPN

The 2024 NFL draft has concluded, and the Chicago Bears have added five new rookies to their lineup, signaling the next phase of a crucial offseason. General Manager Ryan Poles had a limited number of picks but succeeded in enhancing an already promising offense with top 10 picks quarterback Caleb Williams and wide receiver Rome Odunze. However, the defense saw only one addition: Kansas edge rusher Austin Booker in the fifth round.

The starting lineup for Chicago's defense seems nearly finalized, with potential changes at edge rusher and three-technique being the only possibilities. This group ended last season as one of the NFL's top defenses and now aims to break into the top five this season.
We can anticipate what the Bears' starting defense will look like this fall. Montez Sweat, following a standout year with a career-high 12.5 sacks, will continue as a defensive end. DeMarcus Walker is likely to start opposite him unless the Bears opt to reintegrate Yannick Ngakoue on a cost-effective deal.
At defensive tackle, Gervon Dexter is expected to step up in a rotational role with Zacch Pickens after Justin Jones left in free agency. Andrew Billings, who significantly bolstered the Bears' run defense last year, remains a key figure in the middle.
Linebackers T.J. Edwards and Tremaine Edmunds will be crucial, having led the team in tackles and takeaways, respectively. Jack Sanborn is projected to start as the SAM linebacker, supported by the potential challenge from newcomer Noah Sewell.
The secondary will be anchored by Jaylon Johnson, who recently secured a four-year extension. Tyrique Stevenson, after a strong end to his rookie season, and Kyler Gordon, who has found his groove in the nickel cornerback role, will be vital for the Bears' defensive ambitions.
This newly shaped defense is positioned to make significant strides, potentially establishing the Bears as a formidable force in the upcoming NFL season.
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MAY 3   |   78 ANSWERS
Forecasting the Bears' Starting Defense Post-2024 NFL Draft

Will the Bears have a top-five defense in 2024?

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