The Chicago Bears have been a busy team in free agency this year. They’ve added upgrades to the starting lineup on both sides of the ball. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is the splashiest newcomer on defense, while DJ Moore (albeit via trade) is a massive addition on offense.
But there are several positions GM Ryan Poles has yet to address. Offensive tackle, edge rusher, and a three-tech defensive lineman are the most notable.
According to Pro Football Focus, it’s the interior defensive lineman that sticks out the most as the Chicago Bears’ biggest remaining weakness.
“The Bears have brought in a ton of talent since free agency opened,” PFF’s Trevor Sikkema wrote. “They’ve signed Tremaine Edmunds, T.J. Edwards, Nate Davis, Andrew Billings, DeMarcus Walker, Robert Tonyan and D’Onta Foreman. They also acquired D.J. Moore in their trade-down with the Panthers. They’re not quite a complete team yet, though, even despite the positive outlook of those additions. They still need a dominant three-technique pass rusher in the middle and could stand to get a starting-caliber offensive tackle. Though their secondary is already pretty young, another solid outside cornerback could be a target for them on Day 2 of the draft.”
Interestingly, PFF lists cornerback among the Bears’ top three needs. I’m not sure I agree with that assessment, although NFL defenses can’t have enough cover guys these days.
The Chicago Bears could still find starting-caliber veterans in the third wave of free agency and later. A player like Yannick Ngakue would be an immediate upgrade as an edge rusher. Cornerbacks like Marcus Peters and Shaquill Griffin remain unsigned and would offer quality production as a No. 3 corner (assuming Peters checks out as a fit inside the locker room).
The three-tech is the one area where the Bears are least likely to find an upgrade before the 2023 NFL Draft. Georgia’s Jalen Carter has the talent to be a plug-and-play star, but he’s bringing baggage to the league. It’s feeling more and more like he isn’t a Poles guy.
Don’t be surprised if free-agent addition DeMarcus Walker is the Chicago Bears’ most impactful three-tech in 2023. His inside-outside ability appealed to coach Matt Eberflus, and at this point, he could end up the best option on the roster when September rolls around.