Nose tackle Khyiris Tonga has proven to be a valuable part of the Chicago Bears front
When the Bears were missing Eddie Goldman last season, it was difficult to watch the defense at times. There was no one to plug up the middle or help stuff the run. Bilal Nichols is a great, ascending player but doesn’t belong at nose.
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This year, the Bears drafted Khyiris Tonga in the seventh round — and seventh rounders typically have a 50-50 chance of sticking to the final roster. But, Tonga has been flat-out dominant in his first preseason action.
Nose tackle is a position that you can’t judge by a box score, so for folks who look at those and wonder where Tonga is at, you’d get the same reaction looking at Goldman’s box scores. Tonga has been extremely active in his two preseason games, showing tremendous strength and pushing the offensive lines back into trouble on multiple occasions.
Tonga has the size and strength, like Goldman, to completely stop a run play before it gets started. The way he’s able to quickly knock his man backwards is exactly what you want in a run-stuffing nose tackle. Tonga should not only stick on the roster, but he has to get some run during the regular season.
This is a guy who can keep Goldman fresh in his first season back after taking 2020 off. Between the two of them, the Bears have a nasty tandem at nose tackle.