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Chicago Bears 2011 Position Battles: Defensive Line

The Bears already sprung one big named, albeit not so good, defensive lineman in Vernon Gholston.  It was a small price to pay (relatively speaking) to try and catch lightening in a bottle for a former first round draft pick.  They still have another 1st round reclamation project in Amobi Okoye, but he looks like a keeper.  For the rest of my thoughts on the D-Line situation, hit the jump unless you're wiggity, wiggity, wiggity wack...

The Bears still have 13 players listed at either DE, DL, or DT.  It's probably safe to assume that the #90 guy will make the final roster.  Henry Melton, Anthony Adams, and Israel Idonije are also locks.  Even though Corey Wootton was injured most of preseason, they'll be room for the Favre Slayer on the final 53.  I also expect the previously mentioned Okoye to stick and add to the defensive tackle depth and with him running at defensive end at practice he brings good value to the roster spot.  Matt Toeaina started a number of games last year and is a guy that can play bot DT spots, as can rookie 2nd round draft pick Stephen Paea.  By my count, that's eight defensive linemen. The Bears have kept 9 in years past, but would they do that again this year?

If it were up to me I'd part ways with Marcus Harrison.  Coming into camp out of shape once you can chalk up to youthful ignorance, but this is an annual thing with Harrison.  He's shown flashes of being a capable part of the DT rotation, but he's inconsistent, and he should be cut.

The Bears seem to be high on undrafted rookie free agent Mario Addison out of Troy.  If the Bears do keep 9, I think Addison has the inside track.  His name has been on the lips of defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli on numerous occasions.  If he shows something in the final game tonight either at defensive end or on special teams, he could lock up a spot.  If he can't crack the final roster he's a good practice squad prospect. 

DE Jake Laptad and DT Jordan Miller will be hoping for a practice squad gig as well.  DE Nick Reed saw action in all 16 games in 2009 for the Seahawks, and he was brought in due to his familiarity with Director Of Player Personnel, and former Seattle GM Tim Ruskel, but I don't see him fitting on the roster either.

There's always a chance one of these guys will stick around on injured reserve, and then there's the Alex Brown situation.  Jerry Angelo will do his due diligence on Brown and any other talented d-linemen among the final cuts.