After an off-season of change, seven-time Pro Bowl weakside linebacker Lance Briggs will be working with two new starters in 2013.
Strong-side linebacker Nick Roach signed with the Raiders, eight-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Urlacher remains unsigned and in limbo, and last year's top backup, Geno Hayes, signed with the Jaguars.
NFL draft: Top 10 linebackersName, school Ht. Wt. 40
Dion Jordan, Oregon 6-6.2 248 4.60 Wreaks havoc all over the field with Aldon Smith qualities.
Barkevious Mingo, LSU 6-4.2 241 4.58 Inherent athletic gifts; will get better with more bulk.
Jarvis Jones, Georgia 6-2.3 245 4.65 44 TFLs, 28 sacks last two seasons; neck injury a concern.
Alec Ogletree, Georgia 6-2.4 242 4.69 Gifted athlete would go Top 10 sans character concerns.
Manti Te'o, Notre Dame 6-1.2 241 4.74 Instincts, production easily overshadow slow 40-times.
Kevin Reddick, North Carolina 6-1.3 243 4.72 Tough inside thumper has ability to lead a defense.
Arthur Brown, Kansas State 6-0.3 241 4.66 Tad undersized but great fit in Cover-2 defense.
Kevin Minter, LSU 5-11.6 246 4.81 Won't test well but always shows up big on tape.
Cornelius Washington, Georgia 6-4 265 4.56 College DE has elite power, strength, explosion.
Sio Moore, Connecticut 6-0.6 245 4.66 Workout warrior a disruptive force behind line of scrimmage.
Number after decimal point under "Ht." refers to eighths of an inch.
The Bears brought in unrestricted free agents D.J. Williams and James Anderson to start at middle and strong-side linebacker, respectively. Both have been productive starters in the NFL, Williams for the Broncos and Anderson for the Panthers.
But the Bears are getting old at the position. Briggs will be 33 before the season ends. Williams will be 31 before training camp starts and Anderson will turn 30 in the first month of the season.
The Bears have young linebackers on the roster. But J.T. Thomas, Patrick Trahan, Dom DeCicco, Jerry Franklin and even six-year veteran Blake Costanzo, are all primarily special teams players. Not one of them has shown the potential to become starters in the NFL.