Al Quadin Muhammad
Muhammad played for Matt Eberflus the past four years. He has the most experience in this new defense on the team and has played well with it. He had his best season this past season, gathering 48 total tackles and getting to the quarterback six times. Putting him in the rotation with Trevis Gipson and Robert Quinn will give opposing quarterbacks nightmares. Once Quinn and Gipson are acquainted with the defense, they can all be used to rush the quarterback or stop the run. Muhammad will be an underrated piece of the defense and even if he doesn’t shine as bright as Quinn or Gipson, he will absolutely be a large part of the defense.
Braxton Jones was the Bears fifth round pick in the 2022 draft. He was a three year starter at Southern Utah and was selected to the first team All-Big Sky and All-FCS. There was no real expectation of him coming into camp but throughout camp, he was consistently the starting left tackle. He reportedly held his own against Robert Quinn and Trevis Gipson. As the season gets under way, fans should be on the lookout for him and try and watch him against top tier defensive linemen. What comes to mind is the week one matchup against Nick Bosa and the 49er’s. Jones will be getting a crack at stopping one of the best edge rushers in the league. If he turns out, Ryan Poles may have struck gold in his first ever draft as a GM, filling the tackle position the Bears have long sought to fix.
Another rookie, Robinson was selected by the Bears in the fifth round of the 2022 draft. He is a potential freak athlete, standing 6’5” and weighing 253 pounds. He ran a 4.72 40-yard dash and had a 41 inch vertical jump. He played four seasons at Miami Ohio and recorded 11 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in his last two seasons. He adds to the tremendous depth the Bears have on the defensive line. He is a bit raw but if he can add muscle and learn from the likes of Robert Quinn, he will turn into something really special. He may not get a lot of playing time this season but when he is on the field, he will cause plenty of havoc for the opposing quarterbacks.
Equanimeous St. Brown
At 6’5” and 215 pounds, St. Brown can be the X receiver the Bears are looking for. He has shined in camp and has been building a connection with Justin Fields. He never really got a chance in Green Bay, only getting 37 catches over three years and over half of those came in 2018. Being 25 is a huge advantage as well, meaning that he can still develop and grow with his new offense(which is his old offense). That is another advantage, as the Bears new OC is former Packer, Luke Getsy. St. Brown is already familiar with the scheme and can help the rest of the WR’s catch up. This is another “classic” Ryan Poles move, signing someone who is a good athlete with good physical traits who is also young. If St. Brown can be the big body receiver the Bears need, he will be here for a long time and be a monster in the endzone this season.
Jaquan Brisker & Eddie Jackson
Jaquan Brisker is a great athlete and has an impressive resume coming out of Penn State. He has been lighting up camp and is sure to be a day one starter(and maybe even a DROY candidate). At Penn State, he had 9.5 TFL, five interceptions, and 14 pass break ups. He will be a star in this league and will be all over the field, constantly making plays. My real point with this one is how Brisker will affect Eddie Jackson. Jackson had a career year in 2018 and made the pro bowl. Since then, he has been disappointing in coverage and in his tackling ability. When Jackson had Adrian Amos by his side, he was great in all aspects of his game. Once he left, he began the downhill slide that has continued through the 2021 season. Getting Brisker next to him will help him tremendously, and while he might not be the 2018 Eddie Jackson we know and love, he will be much better than the Eddie Jackson of the past three years. Having those two at safety will shore up the DB position and make it a living hell for quarterbacks who want to throw deep.
Justin Jones is joining the Bears this year from the Los Angeles Chargers. With the Chargers (over four seasons), he had 4.5 sacks, 12 TFL, and 13 QB hits. He is a very underrated player and will be able to play the 3-tech on defense, which is the most important position in Matt Eberflus’s defense. With defensive tackle being one of our weaker positions coming into the offseason and the failed Larry Ogunjobi signing, Jones will make the D-line much better. Having consistent pressure from the inside will take potential double teams away from Gipson and Quinn, who will then be able to get to the QB from the outside. Overall, having Justin Jones will give the Bears defensive line the ability to create pressure from anywhere on the line and almost every down.
Montgomery has been a reliable running back for the past three seasons, gathering just over 2800 yards. However, his yard per attempt (YPA) has been below average at 3.9 YPA over three seasons. What this means is that he gets a lot of carries and a good amount of yards, however, the carries he gets should mean he is getting more yards than he does. There are many ways to explain this, whether it’s the offensive line or the play-calling. He also had one of the highest broken tackle rates in the league during his three years. So what does all this add up to? Montgomery has been an average running back in his career while playing behind a horrible O-line and having one of the worst play callers in football call his plays. With the new offensive scheme and a slightly better offensive line coming into 2022, David Montgomery will show why he is a top running back in the league. He will be a large part of the offense and be very fun to watch. As a run first team, he will be able to showcase his talent of running hard and breaking tackles, leading the Bears to have a good offense that can run or pass the ball.
These players may achieve great things this season or not but as most of them have been offseason additions, they will add to a weak roster and step up to make the plays that they need to. These are the kind of players a team wants; hard workers and never quit on the play. They will all be very fun to watch this season and Bear fans should pay attention to them when they watch the games.