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Chicago Bears Post-OTA Roster Predictions

The Chicago Bears current roster sits at 80 men.  All the draft picks are signed.  All the offseason minicamps and OTAs are complete.  Only 53 guys will be on the roster come September.  Who ya got?

I went through this exercise back in January right after the season ended; obviously a lot has happened since then.  Many quality FanPosts and comments' discussions have taken place on the subject.  Here's my breakdown of all 80 guys on the roster and their approximate chances (100%, 75%, 50%, 25% or 0%) of making the final 53.

Here are links to the Bears final rosters in 2007, 2008, and 2009, which are useful in trying to predict how many guys in each position group the Bears will keep in 2010.


Jay Cutler:  100% lock to be on the roster.
Caleb Hanie: 100%, he is the no2 QB.
Dan LeFevour: 75%, the Bears have kept just 2 QBs in the past.  If LeFevour has a disastrous preseason in live games, then he could get cut (& not claimed) and make it on to the practice squad.  However, if he shows off his talent with some good performances, then the Bears will be forced to keep him on the roster.


Running Backs:

Matt Forte: 100%
Chester Taylor: 100%
Khalil Bell & Garrett Wolfe: 50% each; only 1 will make the final roster.  Wolfe has a serious injury (lacerated kidney) to overcome, but he has the ST chops.
Brandon Minor: 0%, camp fodder.



Will Ta'ufo'ou: 25%, showed some skills last year in preseason.
Eddie Williams: 25%, not sure if the Bears keep a traditional FB or do they just keep more TEs and use them as an H-back which Martz likes to do.


Tight Ends:

Greg Olsen: 100%
Brandon Manumaleuna: 100%, Bears didn't pay him all that money to get cut.
Desmond Clark: 75%, solid veteran, will he get caught in a numbers crunch? 
Kellen Davis: 75%, promising young player has shown lots of improvement.  I think the Bears keep 4 TEs and zero FBs.  Martz will use his TEs as H-backs instead of a traditional FB.  They kept 4 TEs coming out of camp last year, so I think they do the same. 
Richard Angulo: 25%, he's a Mike Martz draft pick from 2003, and he played for Mike Tice in JAX the last 2 seasons (Tice was his TEs coach).  He's got some big names in his corner, so there's a chance he sticks in place of Davis or Clark.  They won't keep 5 TEs, that's just crazy.


Wide Receiver:

Devin Aromashodu: 100%
Devin Hester: 100%
Johnny Knox: 100%
Earl Bennett: 75%, he was a starter last year, but now he's the no4.  What happened?  (the extrapolation sensation & a knee scope) He had problems learning plays his rookie year; does he now have problems learning the Martzfense because he's behind?  Is he any good on special teams, because 4's should be.  He's probably a better than 75% chance, but he's not an absolute lock anymore to me.
Juaquin Iglesias: 75%, after an absent rookie year, will he emerge?  High draft picks usually get more than 1 season to figure it out.  Can he do anything on STs?  I think Martz keeps 6 receivers, so chances are great that both Bennett and Iglesias make the team. 
Rashied Davis: 75%, more quick than fast, a great special teamer.  He's a good match for the Martzfense and takes his role as a number 5 or 6 wideout with no ego. 
Freddie Barnes: 25%, must soundly beat out Davis, Iglesias, or Bennett to make the team.  It's also possible the Bears keep 7 receivers, but I think that's remote.  With the possibility of both 4 TEs and 3 QBs, there's not much room for 7 WRs.
Eric Peterman: 25%, ditto.
Vic Hall, Antonio Robinson, Greg Mathews: 0%

Offensive Line:

Olin Kreutz: 100%
Roberto Garza: 100%, starting RG & a backup C too.
Chris Williams: 100%
Kevin Shaffer: 100%, manageable starter at RT last year, high quality as a backup swing tackle.
Josh Beekman: 100%, backup C & possible starter at LG.
Frank Omiyale: 75%, he's the starter at RT now, but if he flames out there like he did at LG, could he be a surprise cut?  What if Frank has a game like Pace did against Elvis Dumervil in last year's preseason?  Would that convince the coaches to just cut him?  I say yes, because there would be no cap ramifications to cut him if it doesn't work out.  He's probably on the team, but he's no lock.
Johan Asiata: 75%, running with the 1's in OTAs at left guard.  Even if he gets beat for starting LG, he's young so will probably stick on the roster.
Lance Louis: 75%, in the running for LG, primary backup at RG, played some tackle last year too.  He's young and versatile so he will probably stick on the roster.
J'Marcus Webb: 25%, he's a project.  Probably won't stick on the roster but hopefully ends up on the practice squad. 
James Marten: 25%, if Omiyale doesn't cut it, he could find his way on the roster as a backup T.
Levi Horn  & Tim Walter: 0%, if either of these 2 is on the 53-man roster then something horrible has probably occurred.


NOTE: The Bears have kept 8 offensive lineman on the roster each of the last 3 years.  I suspect they'll keep only 8 again unless Webb is so good that they're afraid to cut him & have him get picked up by another team.


Special Teams:

Robbie Gould: 100%
Patrick Mannelly: 100%
Brad Maynard: 75% (what?), he's 36 years old and coming off a hip injury.
Richmond McGee: 25%, if Maynard can't cut it, then he's the guy.


Defensive End:

Julius Peppers: 100%
Mark Anderson: 100%
Israel Idonije: 100%, also can & probably will play some DT.  He was outstanding as a rushing DT last season.
Corey Wootton: 50%, why so low?  Because of his previous knee injury, he's a perfect candidate for a redshirt IR season.  The Bears always do this with guys to keep them from other teams and keep room on the roster.
Henry Melton: 50%, redshirt IR last year.  Has he learned the position?  Will he be a DT now instead?  It's probably between him and Wootton to make the final 53.  (Gilbert is in this discussion too.)
Barry Turner: 0%


Defensive Tackle:

Tommie Harris: 100%, which Tommie do we get this year? and for how long?
Anthony Adams: 100%, most consistent run stuffer the Bears have.
Marcus Harrison: 75%, coaches love his talent, but there's his attitude, and his weight, and his injuries.
Jarron Gilbert: 75%, probably gets another year to figure out if he's an end or a tackle, or a career backup at both. 
Matt Toeaina: 25%, all hustle guy, was brought back again, which leads me to believe there might be room for him on the roster.  If Gilbert or Melton both don't make the cut at backup DT, or if Marcus Harrison is a train-wreck, it might clear a path for Toeaina.
Jimmy Saddler-McQueen: 25%, there are lots of guys ahead of him on the depth chart.


Note:  The Bears have kept 9 defensive linemen the past 2 seasons.  I suspect that's the number again this season.  Because they love to rotate linemen so much, they need the bodies.  Peppers, Anderson, Idonije, Harris, & Adams make 5 locks.  Gilbert & Harrison makes 7.  That leaves 2 spots for Melton, Wootton, Toeaina, & Saddler-McQueen to fight for.  However, with Idonije's versatility and the potential for Gilbert to play inside & outside too, do the Bears just keep 8 to make room in other areas?  This will be a spirited battle and one to watch for in the preseason games.



Brian Urlacher: 100%
Lance Briggs: 100%
Nick Roach & Pisa Tinoisamoa: 75%, 2 great linebackers, both are starters in the NFL.  Only one will start for the Bears at strong side linebacker.  I don't put them at 100%, because there's a chance one of them could get traded.  With such quality depth, another team with injuries at the LB spot (which is not far fetched), might come calling to pry a potential starter away from the Bears for a draft pick.  Roach is also an adequate backup at MLB.  Pisa is a great backup at weakside LB.
Hunter Hillenmeyer: 75%, excellent backup & quality special teamer.  If both Roach & Pisa stay, then Hillenmeyer might be on the outside looking in.
Tim Shaw & Brian Iwuh: 75%, both are excellent special teamers.  Will the Bears keep both?  Can either of these guys play linebacker well enough to sacrifice one of the veterans?
Kevin Malast & Matt Mayberry: 0%


Note: The Bears have kept only 6 linebackers the past 2 seasons.  With lingering questions on the defensive line and the secondary, there's just no room to keep 7 linebackers.  Between these 5 guys (Roach, Pisa, Hunter, Shaw, & Iwuh), only 4 will make the roster.  Watching them all fight for a spot will make for some entertaining preseason action.


Charles Tillman: 100%
Zackary Bowman: 100%
Corey Graham: 75%, been sharing time at the nickel in OTAs, quality backup CB too.  He fell out of favor with the coaches last year though, so if whatever that was resurfaces, then he could find himself out (possible trade?).
Tim Jennings: 75%, sharing time at the nickel as well.  Free agent signed this offseason probably sticks on the roster because the next 3 guys don't have any experience.
D.J. Moore, Joshua Moore: 50%, both are mid-round draft picks, but with question marks.  The Bears kept 6 corners last year plus D.Manning so that's really 7.  The Bears only kept 5 corners in '07 & '08.  Will they keep 5 or 6?
Woodny Turenne: 25%, he's probably 7th on the depth chart right now.  He probably needs to overtake both Moores convincingly to make the team.
Cornelius Brown: 0%



Chris Harris: 100%, is he the starter at strong or free?
Major Wright: 100%, can he start?
Danieal Manning: 100%, they've kept him this long, so there' s no reason to think they'll cut him now.  He might start at strong, he can play line-up at free, and can play nickel.  He's also an awesome KR.  He'll be on the team, we just don't know where.  DMS anyone?
Craig Steltz: 75%, hopefully he's a backup, then its fine.  If he's a starter, then we're in trouble.  The coaches & Dane absolutely love him.
Josh Bullocks: 50%, his name doesn't seem to come up in discussions of safeties not making the team.  He's very athletic, but there is that YouTube video of him showing how not to play free safety.  He's also a pretty good (and a willing) special teamer.
Al Afalava: 25%, preseason revelation last year.  Came down to earth and then got injured during the season.  Might have a chronic shoulder problem.  He's probably 4th on the depth chart at SS behind Harris, Manning, & Steltz; that's not good.
Quentin Scott: 0%, just no room for him.  Only makes it if 2 out of the 3 from Steltz, Afalava & Bullocks get cut.


NOTE:  The Bears have kept 10, 10, and 11 defensive backs the past 3 seasons.  Depending on what they do on the defensive line (probably keep 9) and linebackers (probably keep only 6), then that leaves 10 defensive backs to total 25 defensive players. 

There's going to be some good players getting cut or traded (especially at LB).  That's the NFL.  Injuries play a big factor in all this too, unfortunately.  When you crunch the numbers, keep in mind that the Bears will probably keep 25 offensive players, 25 defensive players, and 3 specialists.  Last season they kept 24 on offense & 26 on defense.  With Martz as the new OC, I think he's going to want (demand?) the opportunity to keep 25 guys for his side of the ball.

Offense: 8 O-line, 6 WRs, 4 TEs, 3 RBs, plus 3 QBs = 24 players.  1 more WR? 1 FB? 2 QBs only? extra OL? or 1 more corner for defense?

Defense: 9 D-line, 6 LBs, 10 DBs (5 corners, 5 safeties) = 25 players.  1 more CB? 1 less DL?

Special Teams: 1 K, P, and LS.

80-ManRosterJune2010 <= Download spreadsheet of roster.

Your thoughts?