The Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, and Minnesota Vikings upgraded this offseason, but where does each team rank in the NFC North?
Over the weekend, SideLion Report will be releasing it’s NFC North Ranking’s for the 2014 season. Coming up next is our projected third place finisher, the Chicago Bears.
Last Year’s SideLion Report Offseason Rank: 4th
Last Year’s Division Finish: 2nd
2014 Draft Class
Kyle Fuller, CB, first round
Ego Ferguson, DT, second round
Will Sutton, DT, third round
Ka’Deem Carey, RB, fourth round
Brock Vereen, FS, fourth round
David Fales, QB, sixth round
Charles Leno Jr, OT, seventh round
Key Free Agent Signings: Jared Allen, DE; Brian De La Puente, C; Israel Idonije, DE; Josh Morgan, WR; Lamarr Houston, DE; M.D. Jennings, S; Ryan Mundy, S; Willie Young, DE
Key Departures: Devin Hester, K/R, WR; Julius Peppers, DE; Henry Melton, DT; Major Wright, S; Josh McCown, QB; Adam Podlesh, P
Chicago Bears Analysis
What stands out to me is the roster turnover for the Bears. They signed a lot key contributors, but they also lost a lot of key contributes. Losing Henry Melton, Major Wright, Josh McCown, and Devin Hester hurts, but signing Jared Allen, M.D. Jennings, and drafting Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton will help. The impact of their rookie class and veteran acquisitions will determine how much better the Bears are this season. Looking at the roster overhaul I feel like it’s a wash for the Bears. Defensive tackles Ferguson and Sutton instills youth to an aging defensive line, but Henry Melton was outstanding before his knee injury. Can the rookies pick up where Melton left off?
One area the Bears got definitively better is defensive end. The signing of Jared Allen is a slight upgrade over Julius Peppers, but pair that signing with Lamarr Houston and rotational pass rusher Willie Young and the Bears have fortified any issues they had last season at the position.
Ranking the Bears, Packers, and Lions is tough. The additions all three teams made are still to be determined, but the impact those additions have decides who goes to the playoffs and who doesn’t. Without giving away who I ranked first and second in the NFC North, my third overall ranking for the Bears came down to matchups. I think the Lions’ offense has a distinct matchup over the Bears’ defense and that the Packers’ draft class paired with quarterback Aaron Rodgers trumps the Bears’ roster overhaul.
Tags: NFC North