NFL 2018 power rankings countdown No. 23: Chicago Bears

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: Mitchell Trubisky #10 and Cody Whitehair #65 of the Chicago Bears celebrate after scoring against the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth quarter at Soldier Field on October 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Chicago Bears 20-17. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: Mitchell Trubisky #10 and Cody Whitehair #65 of the Chicago Bears celebrate after scoring against the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth quarter at Soldier Field on October 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Chicago Bears 20-17. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

A preview of the Chicago Bears ahead of the 2018 season.

Check back every day for a new 2018 team preview in this year’s NFL power rankings countdown.

Today’s team is the Chicago Bears.

23. Chicago Bears

Keegan’s highest rated player: Allen Robinson, wide receiver

Biggest strength: Running back

Biggest weakness: Offensive tackle

Best offseason move: Drafting Roquan Smith

Worst offseason move: Not finding a long-term starter at the offensive tackle position

Game to circle on calendar: Week 1, at Green Bay

Breakout candidate: Mitchell Trubisky, quarterback

Key players in contract years: Michael Burton, Kevin White, Bobby Massie, Aaron Lynch, Eddie Goldman, Adrian Amos, Bryce Callahan, Marcus Cooper and Pat O’Donnell

Offensive preview

Ryan Pace added several impact free agents on the offensive side of the ball, but if this offense wants to improve from last year’s mediocre performance, it will depend on Matt Nagy and Mitchell Trubisky.

The Bears need Trubisky to play like the quarterback they expected him to be if they want to have any chance in the NFC North this year. Their division competitors all have franchise quarterbacks, and the Bears need Trubisky to turn into one sooner rather than later.

Fortunately, Nagy will be able to help Trubisky develop into that kind of quarterback. He did a great job developing Patrick Mahomes last year, and Mahomes was less polished coming out of college than Trubisky was. Trubisky won’t have a Jared Goff-like turnaround in year two, but he should take a step in the right direction.

The biggest point of strength for this team will be their backfield. Jordan Howard is one of the best running backs in football, and Tarik Cohen could be a Darren Sproles-type talent for this offense. It’s rare that you get two impact running backs like this in the same backfield.

The Bears did a great job adding weapons for Trubisky this offseason. Both Allen Robinson and Trey Burton will be immediate contributors. Don’t discount the additions of Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel either. This looks like one of the most improved receiving corps in football.

This offensive line is strong on the interior with Cody Whitehair and Kyle Long, but they are too weak on the outside. Charles Leno Jr. is a good offensive tackle, but I would rather see him at right tackle. This offensive line needs to find another long-term starter at the tackle position, I don’t see Bobby Massie as one.

Defensive preview

The Bears’ defense is strong in a lot of areas. In one offseason alone they improved at the linebacker position thanks to the addition of Roquan Smith, and also managed to maintain their best cornerback in Kyle Fuller. This is a young defense that is headed in the right direction.

One strength with this unit is the defensive line, which will be strong in run support with Akiem Hicks and nose tackle Eddie Goldman. Don’t be shocked if Jonathan Bullard shows improvement as well, he was a dominant pass rusher at Florida who still has a lot of potential.

The strongest point of this defense will be their two middle linebackers, which is led by Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith. These are two old fashioned linebackers who will dominate up the middle for a long time. This is the best middle linebacker tandem in the NFC North.

The pass rush will be strong this year with Aaron Lynch and Leonard Floyd; this looks like one of the most underrated pass-rushing tandems in football. They could use some depth, but the pass rush otherwise looks primed for a comeback in 2018.

Retaining Kyle Fuller was a smart move, but it wouldn’t have hurt this secondary if they upgraded from Prince Amukamara at the number two cornerback spot. The rest of the position is strong with Bryce Callahan and Marcus Cooper.

Adrian Amos and Eddie Jackson are both yet to reach their peak, and as a result this could be one of the best safety tandems in football a few years from now. This is a strong unit with a bright future.

The Bears have a young defense that is a few tweaks away from being one of the most well-rounded units in the NFC. This defense will keep the Bears in games, even if Trubisky struggles this season.

Coaching staff/front office preview

The Bears made a great addition to their coaching staff with the hire of Matt Nagy as head coach. This should remind you of last year’s Sean McVay hire by the Los Angeles Rams. Nagy won’t have quite the impact on Trubisky that McVay had on Jared Goff, but he will certainly stir the young quarterback in the right direction.

Ryan Pace has done a nice job building the Bears’ defense, and he has added a lot of playmakers on offense over the last few years, but his legacy will still be tied to whether or not Trubisky becomes the franchise quarterback that the Bears have spent decades searching for.

We are still waiting for the verdict on Trubisky, but as of right now it is safe to say that Pace has assembled a talented roster.

Overall outlook for 2018

This is a young roster with a lot of potential, but they will likely be the worst team in their division once again this season. Chicago could be a playoff contender in a year or two if Trubisky turns the corner.

Next. Top 15 Packers to watch at training camp. dark

Previous teams:

24. Oakland Raiders
25. Baltimore Ravens
26. Washington Redskins
27. Cleveland Browns
28. Buffalo Bills
29. New York Jets
30. Cincinnati Bengals
31. Miami Dolphins
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers