Star power is important in the NFL. Then again it’s important in every sport. Teams won’t win a lot of games without it. However, football tends to favor one other aspect of roster building than just a core of great players. That being depth. Due to the nature of football and its physicality, attrition is the biggest issue facing teams. Players lost to injury. That is why having a deeper roster can often be the decisive advantage. Something the Chicago Bears haven’t known for a long time.
Not until now that is.
Experts everywhere tend to agree that this might be the most talented roster the franchise has put together in years. Not since their peak in 2005-2006. Some would even argue this team is better than that one because of its significant improvements on offense in regards to wide receiver and quarterback. It certainly provides hope this team might finish what that one wasn’t able to 13 years ago.
Yet there is one area of this roster that is getting significant attention. Not just for being the deepest on the team but the deepest in the entire NFL. Chris Wesseling of NFL.com broke down which one it is and what makes it so scary on paper.
Chicago Bears front seven is peerless in the NFL today
The Los Angeles Rams may have the best defensive front seven player in Aaron Donald, but their overall unit can’t even touch what the Bears have built. Not only do they have a comparable star in Khalil Mack, but the talent spreads to multiple other positions and goes even to the #2 guys at several of them. That’s why the Bears front seven was ranked the second deepest position group in the entire league.
“Led by perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate Khalil Mack, the latest iteration of the Monsters of the Midway finished first in Football Outsiders’ defensive efficiency metrics and opponents’ passer rating, while falling just two sacks shy of the NFL lead.
The entire front-seven cast returns intact, with Pro Bowl behemoth Akiem Hicks stonewalling the ground attack and nose tackle Eddie Goldman emerging as a disruptive force in his own right. Not to be overlooked, veteran Danny Trevathan and up-and-comer Roquan Smith comprise one of the league’s most productive inside linebacker tandems, with the latter improving throughout last season.
Headlining the second unit, edge rusher Aaron Lynch and second-year interior lineman Bilal Nichols flashed big-play potential in limited playing time. If this unit stays healthy, the only question is whether former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano can fill the sizable shoes of Vic Fangio, a master button-pusher in recent years.”
It’s hard to argue those points. The Bears devastated offenses with that front seven last year. Not only did they finish with 50 sacks, but they also boasted the #1 run defense in the league. There was no escaping them. Perhaps the scariest part is that it is a group that is still young. Hicks and Trevathan are the oldest members and are still just 29. Mack is 28 and Leonard Floyd is 26. Everybody else including Smith and Goldman are 25 or younger.