Hub Arkush’s 2022 Bears training camp preview: Defensive ends

Chicago Bears pass rusher Robert Quinn during a game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in Minneapolis.

Welcome to the eighth of our 12-part series as we get you ready for Bears Training Camp 2022 by looking at each position group on the depth chart, special teams and the new coaching staff.

We’ll bring you brief scouting reports with pluses and minuses for every notable player, how each group stacks up against the rest of the NFL, projected potential surprises and disappointments, the final 53-man roster and likely practice squad keepers.

Part 8 – Defensive ends

Although there is real hope for youngsters Trevis Gipson and Dominique Robinson, this is all about Robert Quinn.

Quinn was the best end in the NFC last year. He is one more season like last year from being a legit candidate for Canton. The big question with Quinn: How long will he remain in navy and orange?

Robert Quinn

He was out of position at outside rush linebacker last year and was still the best defensive player in the NFC other than Aaron Donald, and his loss would be a major blow to Matt Eberflus’ and Alan Williams’ hopes to establish their Tampa 2 defense in Year 1.

Biggest plus: He is one of the best natural pass rushers in the NFL.

Biggest concern: At 32, can he repeat or come close to last year?

Al-Quadin Muhammad

Muhammad is one of Eberflus’ guys and could be a strong complement to whomever ends up on the right side. He was a failed sixth-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2017 but spent the past four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, three as a backup and then last year as a full-time starter for the first time with six sacks, seven tackles for loss and 13 QB hits.

Biggest plus: Still only 27, the lights went on last year.

Biggest concern: He’s done it once after a very slow start.

Trevis Gipson

Gipson is a natural pass rusher who hasn’t been allowed to play the same position consistently since high school. He played tackle and end in college and has been an outside linebacker in the Bears’ 3-4, but he is a natural 40 front end with special traits.

If Quinn’s gone, Gipson is your starting right end. If not, can Muhammad keep the left side spot from him?

Biggest plus: Made great strides from being active seven times as a rookie to 16 games, seven starts, seven sacks and seven TFLs last year.

Biggest concern: Is he ready for a full-time job or still a year away?

Dominique Robinson

Robinson is a late bloomer out of Miami (Ohio) who stole the show a few times at the Senior Bowl, and many feel the Bears stole at the back of the fifth round (31st pick). He was a high school quarterback recruited to play wide receiver in college and then converted to defensive end.

Biggest plus: He’s a blue chip right end prospect already talking the talk.

Biggest concern: Seems like a great kid, but can he walk the walk?

Sam Kamara

Kamara made the leap last year from undrafted rookie free agent out of Stony Brook to the practice squad, and then to key backup in Week 8 after Khalil Mack went to injured reserve. He’s hard not to pull for.

Biggest plus: He’s a football player.

Biggest concern: He’s probably a man without a position at this level.

LaCale London: A huge man (6-5, 315 pounds) out of Western Illinois, London was a five-technique in the 3-4 so he’s listed at DE, but he’ll have to win a spot as and anchor tackle in the Tampa 2.

Carson Taylor

A bit hidden at Northern Arizona, Taylor is a special athlete at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds and a natural edge bender general manager Ryan Poles liked as an undrafted rookie free agent. Interesting tools but most likely will need a year on the practice squad before he competes at this level.

The skinny

Where they fit in NFL: Impossible to say until we know Quinn’s status.

Potential: The Bears’ defense could surprise a lot of folks if Quinn is here. Defensive end could be a problem spot if he’s not.

Surprises: Quinn and the Bears kiss and make up.

Disappointments: They don’t.

Outcome: I can’t find the path back to Halas Hall for Quinn right now. Gipson and Muhammad are your starters, and Robinson is the first pass rusher off the bench.

I’ve rated Mario Edwards Jr. with the tackles because he could be a three-technique, but he’ll play end. There could be another street vet or two brought in if Quinn is gone.

Taylor finds the practice squad, and Kamara and London will have to win the numbers game or find new homes.

In case you missed it: Previous installments of our 2022 season preview series

Hub Arkush

Hub Arkush

Hub Arkush is the Senior Bears Analyst for Shaw Local News Network and