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Bears training camp preview: Who are the newcomers in 2022? – Chicago Bears Wire

There’s been plenty of change with the Chicago Bears roster since the new regime under general manager Ryan Poles took over. The Bears added 54 new players to the 90-man roster since the end of the 2021 season.
A lot of those additions have been one-year, prove-it deals as Poles rebuilds the roster. He’s not tying himself to most players beyond this season, but there are certainly a lot of new faces.
So who are all these newcomers? The Bears added 11 draft picks, signed or claimed 29 veterans and signed 14 undrafted rookie free agents.
Here’s a look at the newcomers to Chicago this summer, listed by jersey number:
AP Photo/Stew Milne
The Bears recently took a chance on former Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry, sending a 2024 seventh-round pick to New England. Harry gets a fresh start in Chicago, where he’ll look to earn a roster spot in an unproven receivers room.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Kyler Gordon was Chicago’s top draft selection in the second round, and he’s expected to make an immediate impact as a rookie. The Bears are starting him off on the outside, where he’s expected to start opposite Jaylon Johnson and hopefully solidify a cornerbacks room that was one of the worst in the NFL.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
The Bears’ other draft selection in the second round, Jaquan Brisker is expected to start at strong safety opposite Eddie Jackson, which should benefit Jackson. Brisker already impressed during the offseason program, and he could be their most impactful rookie when all is said and done.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Third-round pick Velus Jones Jr. was the lone wide receiver drafted by the Bears, and there’s already been a lot of excitement about his potential in this Luke Getsy offense. Jones is expected to serve as Chicago’s WR3 behind Darnell Mooney and Byron Pringle.
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Speaking of Pringle, the speedy playmaker comes to Chicago from Kansas City after being buried on a loaded depth chart. Pringle was the Bears’ top free-agent addition at receiver, where he’s poised to be the beneficiary of Mooney’s WR1 status.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears signed Nathan Peterman to a one-year deal this offseason to serve as their third quarterback. Peterman isn’t going to make the final roster, but he’s certainly a practice squad candidate.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Chicago signed Trevor Siemian to a two-year deal to serve as Justin Fields’ backup quarterback. Shortly after, the Bears released Nick Foles so he could find a new home. It’s hard to argue that Chicago upgraded at backup quarterback this offseason. Let’s hope we don’t have to see much of Siemian.
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Following Pat O’Donnell’s departure in free agency to the rival Packers, the Bears went out and selected rookie Trenton Gill in the seventh round of the NFL draft. They released veteran Ryan Winslow shortly after, an indication this appears to be Gill’s job moving forward.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears signed undrafted rookie free agent Jon Alexander, a safety out of Charlotte. While Alexander is a special teams contributor and has made some plays this offseason, he’s not likely to make the roster, where there’s some nice depth at safety.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears claimed Chris Finke off waivers this offseason, reuniting him with Ryan Poles in Chicago. Finke, an undrafted free agent in 2021, hasn’t played a regular season game in the NFL. Finke will be among those competing for one of the final wide receiver roster spots.
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David Moore, a former seventh-round pick in 2017, is another veteran wideouts that Poles signed this offseason. Moore will be among those competing for the final receiver roster spots in a wide-open competition. Moore was arrested earlier this offseason for substance and weapon offenses.
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Following Dakota Dozier landing on injured reserve, the Bears went out and signed veteran cornerback Jayson Stanley. Stanley is likely just a camp body and doesn’t factor into the completion for roster spots at cornerback.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
The Bears’ second wide receiver move this offseason was the addition of Equanimeous St. Brown, who comes from the Packers. St. Brown has experience in Getsy’s offense from Green Bay, which makes him valuable. He projects to serve in a depth role at receiver for Chicago.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
The Bears claimed former Titans running back Darrynton Evans off waivers earlier this offseason. Evans missed most of the 2021 season on injured reserve. He’s expected to serve in a depth role behind starters David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears signed undrafted rookie free agent safety A.J. Thomas following a tryout at rookie minicamp. Thomas doesn’t factor into Chicago’s roster plans at safety, but he could earn a spot on the practice squad.
AP Photo/Terrance Williams
One of the Bears’ under-the-radar additions was cornerback Tavon Young, who’s the favorite to start at nickel cornerback this season. When he hasn’t been limited by injuries, he’s been impactful in the slot. But Young will have to beat out second-year corner Thomas Graham Jr. for the starting role.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears added another veteran in the secondary who could be a sneaky-good signing in Dane Cruikshank. While Chicago is set with Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker as starters, Cruikshank will serve as key depth and a special teams contributor.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Undrafted rookie free agent running back De’Montre Tuggle signed with the Bears following a tryout at rookie minicamp. While he doesn’t factor into their plans at running back, he’s certainly a candidate to make the practice squad.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
While running back wasn’t a need heading into the draft, the Bears drafted Tulane’s Trestan Ebner to serve as a playmaker both on offense and special teams. Ebner has been compared to former Bears running back Tarik Cohen, and Ebner could carve out a nice role for himself on offense.
AP Photo/Michael Woods
Cornerback Allie Green IV signed with the Bears as an undrafted rookie free agent this offseason. There’s certainly some competition for roster spots at cornerback, but Green looks to be a camp body at this point. But if he impresses, he could earn a spot on the practice squad.
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The Bears signed fullback Khari Blasingame this offseason, which makes it the first time in four years that they’ve carried a fullback. Blasingame’s addition is a clear indication of the director of Chicago’s run-heavy offense. Blasingame has been a solid blocker, but he can also contribute in the ground game as a runner.
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears signed undrafted rookie free agent Jaylon Jones this offseason, where he has the potential to make an impression. Jones faces an uphill battle in terms of locking down a roster spot, but he could be a prime practice squad candidate with a strong training camp.
AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo
The Bears drafted another defensive back in the seventh-round of the NFL draft, adding safety Elijah Hicks. Hicks will be looking to lock down a roster spot in a deep safety group, where he’ll have to out-duel a veteran in Cruikshank to do so.
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears signed veteran Noah Dawkins to serve as depth at linebacker. Dawkins will be among those competing for that starting strong side linebacker role alongside Roquan Smith and Nicholas Morrow. At the very least, he should contend for a roster spot.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears signed veteran cornerback Greg Stroman Jr. to serve as depth in the secondary. Stroman found early success in his NFL career, but he’s been hampered by injuries. He’ll look at compete for a roster spot in a crowded cornerbacks room.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears signed undrafted rookie free agent linebacker Christian Albright out of Ball State. Albright, a converted defensive end, will be looking to make a strong impression. While it’s not likely he makes the final roster, he could carve out a role for himself on the practice squad.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears signed Matthew Adams to compete for the starting strong side linebacker job. Adams has the advantage of playing under Matt Eberflus in Indianapolis, so he has a good understanding of the defense and his role. Adams is the favorite, but he’ll have to hold off others for the starting job.
AP/ Photo Jeffrey T. Barnes
The Bears added another veteran linebacker in Joe Thomas. Thomas has served as a core special teamer throughout his career, but he’s solid depth at the linebacker position, where he can step in when called upon. He’ll be looking to earn a roster spot with the Bears.
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The Bears signed tight end Jake Tonges as an undrafted rookie free agent this offseason. Tonges is coming off a career year during his redshirt senior season at Cal. Assuming four tight ends make the roster, Tonges will be competing with the likes of fellow UDFA Chase Allen and veteran Rysen John for the role.
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Speaking of Chicago’s other undrafted rookie free agent tight end, Chase Allen will be looking to earn a roster spot in camp. Outside of Cole Kmet, there’s no lock for the roster at tight end. But it’ll likely come down to to Allen and Tonges for a potential fourth spot.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
The Bears don’t have a lot of depth at the linebacker position, which gives someone like undrafted rookie free agent C.J. Avery an opportunity to contend for a roster spot. He’ll have the battle the likes of some fellow UDFAs and veterans. But he’s also a candidate for the practice squad.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
The Bears signed veteran Nicholas Morrow to serve as a starter alongside Roquan Smith at linebacker. Morrow has played all three linebacker positions in a 4-3 defense with the Raiders. Morrow is expected to serve in the middle linebacker role while Smith serves as the weak side linebacker. But those roles could certainly be interchangeable.
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Following the Khalil Mack trade, the edge rusher position is going to look a little different for the Bears. The addition of veteran Al-Quadin Muhammad is a big one for Chicago, especially as he comes to the Bears with a knowledge of Eberflus’ defense. Muhammad will compete with veteran Trevis Gipson for the starting role opposite Robert Quinn.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Jack Sanborn is easily Chicago’s most notable undrafted free agent rookies, and he’ll be looking to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. The good news for Sanborn is that it’s a relatively unproven linebacker group behind Smith and Morrow, so there’s an opportunity for him to carve out a role for himself.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
There will be plenty of competition when it comes to edge rusher depth in training camp. Quinn, Gipson and Muhammad are the only locks, and there are roster spots up for grabs. Taylor made a strong impression during the offseason program, and he’ll need another strong performance to garner consideration for a roster spot.
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago found their new starting center in free-agent addition Lucas Patrick, who comes to the Bears with an understand of Getsy’s offense. Patrick replaces Sam Mustipher, who will be competing for the starting right guard role. While Patrick will serve as the center, he also has experience playing both guard positions.
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Defensive tackle Mike Pennel returns to the Bears for his second stint in as many years. Pennel was on the roster last summer before landing on injured reserve and was released as part of final cuts. Pennel gets a second chance to compete for the starting nose tackle job, where he’ll battle Khyiris Tonga.
AP Photo
The Bears signed offensive lineman Willie Wright to a reserve/future contract back in February. Wright is a swing offensive lineman who will be asked to play guard. Wright will have to outperform Chicago’s rookie offensive linemen for a spot on the roster.
AP Photo/Stacy Bengs
One of those rookie offensive linemen won’t be sixth rounder Doug Kramer, who looks to be Patrick’s backup at center. Kramer is a homegrown product who grew up a Bears fan and played college ball at Illinois. The hope is Kramer develops into Chicago’s future center, and he’ll learn behind Patrick for now.
AP Photo/Butch Dill
The Bears drafted Ja’Tyre Carter in the seventh round, where the hope is he’ll develop into a contributor down the line. Carter projects to serve in a guard role at the NFL level, but he’ll need some time to develop.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears might’ve gotten a steal in fifth-round offensive tackle Braxton Jones, who made a strong impression during the offseason. Jones has emerged as a contender for the starting left tackle role after seeing time with the first team during the final week of OTAs and the entirety of mandatory minicamp.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
The Bears added veteran offensive tackle Julién Davenport this offseason. It’s a reunion with Eberflus, as Davenport appeared in nine games, including four starts, with the Colts last season. He’ll be looking to lock down a roster spot as a potential swing tackle.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Speaking of former Colts, Shon Coleman is one of Chicago’s newer additions following the release of punter Ryan Winslow. Coleman comes to the Bears looking to earn a roster spot, but he faces an uphill battle with the players already on the roster.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears selected offensive lineman Zachary Thomas in the sixth round for he NFL draft, and he appears poised to occupy the role of Cody Whitehair’s backup at left guard. Thomas saw reps with the first team during minicamp when Whitehair had an excused absence.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears signed Jean Delance as an undrafted rookie free agent where he’s a developmental player for now. Delance won’t factor into a roster spot, but he could certainly be a candidate for the practice squad.
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears tight ends room certainly underwent a transformation this offseason, where Cole Kmet is the only player left on the roster from last season. Chicago signed James O’Shaughnessy to provide key depth, as well as serve as a run blocker in the Bears’ run-heavy scheme.
AP Photo/James Kenney
Kevin Shaa is yet another undrafted rookie free agent that joined the Bears this offseason. While there’s plenty of competition at the wide receiver position, Shaa likely won’t factor into the battle for a roster spot. But he might impress enough to garner consideration for the practice squad.
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Free-agent acquisition Ryan Griffin is poised to serve as the second tight end behind Kmet. Griffin will likely split reps with fellow newcomer O’Shaughnessy. While Griffin isn’t a lock, it’s a safe bet to assume he’ll make the roster given the lack of depth and his experience at the position.
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The Bears added veteran wide receiver Dante Pettis to compete for a depth spot on the roster. Pettis, who played with the Giants last season, reunites with new receivers coach and passing game coordinator Tyke Tolbert. Pettis is a favorite to land one of the final receiver spots on the roster.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Another former Giant to reunite with Tolbert in Chicago is tight end Rysen John, who was claimed off waivers by the Bears. John will be competing for what’s likely the fourth and final tight end roster spot with UDFAs Tonges and Allen.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Another veteran wide receiver that has a chance to earn a roster spot is Tajae Sharpe, who signed with Chicago shortly before Pettis. Sharpe, a former fifth-round pick, saw significant action in his first four seasons with the Titans. Sharpe is also considered a favorite to earn one of those final receiver spots.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
The Bears selected edge rusher Dominique Robinson in the fifth-round of the NFL draft as a developmental player who could become a significant contributor down the line. He’s been compared to Trevis Gipson — including by Gipson himself — and he should earn a roster spot to serve as depth at defensive end.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Following Larry Ogunjobi’s failed physical, the Bears signed Justin Jones to a two-year deal to serve as Chicago’s 3-technique. Jones, who is a solid run defender, will be relied upon to be a disruptor along the defensive interior in one of the most important roles in Eberflus’ defense.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears signed undrafted rookie free agent Micah Dew-Treadway following the NFL draft. Dew-Treadway probably won’t factor into Chicago’s plans along the defensive line, but he’ll get a chance to prove himself in training camp.
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