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Ray McDonald, Jeremiah Ratliff anchor Bears' defensive line

5/23/2015

Here is the sixth of eight positional breakdowns of the Chicago Bears' offseason roster following the NFL draft.

Position: Defensive line

Notable additions: Defensive end Ray McDonald, defensive end Jarvis Jenkins and defensive tackle Eddie Goldman (second-round pick)

Notable subtractions: Stephen Paea

Summary: The front-seven is fluid. Even though Jared Allen (pictured), Lamarr Houston (injured) and Willie Young (injured) have been unofficially classified as linebackers, there is a good chance all three continue to rush out of a three-point stance in certain situations. So discussing the new 3-4 defensive line without at least mentioning Allen, Houston and Young’s projected contributions is a little shortsighted. David Bass is a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker. Prized free agent outside linebacker Pernell McPhee is also expected to rush from different spots. So there are a lot of moving parts at play here. As for the scheme-specific members of the defensive front, McDonald is an instant upgrade at defensive end. He is a risky signing given his off-the-field issues, but he fits the scheme perfectly -- he was a former full-time starter in San Francisco under new Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Jenkins arrives in Chicago after starting 33 games the past three years for the Washington Redskins and is expected to be part of the defensive line rotation. General manager Ryan Pace said on draft weekend that veteran Jeremiah Ratliff will be one of the core members of the defensive line, with the versatility to play multiple positions. 2015 second-round draft choice Eddie Goldman is slated to be a nose tackle in the 3-4 defense and should contribute immediately. It’s unclear how recent draft picks Ego Ferguson (second round), Will Sutton (third round) and Cornelius Washington (sixth) fit in the new defense, but Ferguson (6-foot3, 315 pounds) and Washington (6-foot-4, 265 pounds) seem to have a better shot to stick because of their size. Fangio said at rookie minicamp that he prefers bigger players up front. Sutton is listed at only 6-foot.