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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: Have Bears assigned uniform numbers?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Have the free agents the Bears signed been assigned uniform numbers?
Steve L.
Michigan

Yes, they have. Here are the jersey numbers that have been assigned to players who have joined the Bears this offseason:

8: Ryan Winslow, punter
13: Byron Pringle, receiver
15: Trevor Siemian, quarterback
19: Equanimeous St. Brown, receiver
21: Darrynton Evans, running back
23: Lamar Jackson, cornerback
25: Tavon Young, cornerback
29: Dane Cruikshank, safety
35: Khari Blasingame, fullback
38: Noah Dawkins, linebacker
44: Matt Adams, linebacker
45: Joe Thomas, linebacker
53: Nicholas Morrow, linebacker
55: Al-Quadin Muhammad, defensive end
62: Lucas Patrick, center
64: Willie Wright, tackle
78: Dakota Dozier, guard
84: Ryan Griffin, tight end
93: Justin Jones, defensive tackle

Will the Bears be looking to draft an edge rusher to offset the loss of Khalil Mack, or will this not be a priority after the free agency signing of Al-Quadin Muhammad and the production of Trevis Gipson after Mack was injured last year?
Paul D.
Peterborough, England

I don't think an edge rusher is the Bears' most pressing need, but it's a premier position in a pass-happy league and you can never have too many of them on your roster. Robert Quinn returns after setting a team single-season record with 18.5 sacks. And as you mentioned, they added Al-Quadin Muhammad from the Colts and remain high on Trevis Gipson after he recorded 7.0 sacks last season, including 4.0 in the final five games. With that being said, I wouldn't be surprised if the Bears address the position in the draft at some point, assuming there's a pass rusher with value on their board when they go on the clock. Interestingly, in a recent compilation of 12 mock drafts, none of the analysts are projecting that the Bears will select an edge rusher with either of their two second-round picks. The most common positions listed are receiver, offensive line and cornerback.

Even with Justin Fields firmly entrenched as the starter, do you think the Bears might pick a developmental quarterback at some point in the draft given the importance of the position?
Will P.
Rolling Meadows, Illinois

It's an interesting question, Will. I'd be slightly surprised but not shocked if the Bears chose a quarterback, maybe on Day 3 of the draft. It's certainly the most important position on the field, so I'd understand why the Bears would want a developmental prospect at that position they could keep on the practice squad behind starter Justin Fields and backup Trevor Siemian. Quarterbacks obviously get hurt and—like I said about pass rushers—you can never have too many good ones. I do think the chances they would take a flier on a quarterback late in the draft would be higher if they had more than six picks, however. To me, the lack of draft capital makes it more unlikely than it would be if the Bears had more choices.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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