Chicago Bears: Roster shake-up looming after successful draft weekend

Chicago Bears, 2023 NFL Draft (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears, 2023 NFL Draft (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears capitalized on their NFL draft weekend. A roster shake-up is inevitable as the front office looks to address one of the worst units in the league.

The Chicago Bears were always looking to improve the roster even after a 12-win season and an NFC North championship. The 2019 draft class suggests the front office planned to improve in the one remaining area that needed a complete overhaul, the special teams unit.

That unit was the Achilles heel of the 2018-19 season. The storybook ending to an otherwise successful run was halted by a failed field goal attempt in the waning moments of a first-round playoff loss. That is only half the story. All season the third phase of the organization failed in providing any momentum.

Chicago ranked among the worst in the league in field goal percentage (27th) and 24th in extra points. This unit was dead last in kickoff returns while the coverage team allowed the fifth most yards per return. This is not the complementary third phase that would assist a playoff-caliber team deep into the playoffs. Pace potentially rectified the only flaw on the roster with his final three selections.

The additions of Duke Shelley formerly of Kansas State, Kerrith Whyte Jr. formerly of Florida Atlantic, and Stephen Denmark formerly of Valdosta State all show desirable traits of a special teams contributor. Each offers elite athleticism, top-end speed, and a feisty demeanor. The special teams may be the only way to make an immediate impact for a late round pick on a playoff team.

Whyte was an electric kick returner in college while Denmark plays with the sort of reckless abandonment and speed that would excel in a gunner role. This type of athletic talent is exactly Coach Tabor needs to reinvigorate his stagnant group. Players often find their niche on these units and the Bears are no different.

Related Story. Draft weekend shows plan for future. light

Players like Sherrick McManis and Taquan Mizzell were put on notice this past weekend. They should pay special attention to their newest teammates. Halas Hall just elevated the competition for the only weak link on a team that is hungry to show the league last year was no fluke. The Bears three-day rookie camp begins May 3rd, stay tuned for the action.

Until then stay thirsty and Bear Down!