There was technically only one Chicago Bears player that made the cut in the 2015 version of the Top 100 Players in the NFL and that was running back Matt Forte, who checked in at #48. Former Bear and current New York Jets wide out Brandon Marshall also made the cut, but his Chicago ties are in the past.
Today we're looking into the future to determine the chances one of the 2015 Bears will do enough to be voted onto the 2016 list.
Here are my top contenders in alphabetical order.
Bennett was one of the more productive tight ends in the league last year, and he's stepping into another offense that is very TE friendly. If the run game is clicking, the play action game will be tough to stop, and it could be Bennett that benefits. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase has had a TE in the Pro Bowl his last two season's in Denver and he inherits a Pro Bowler in Bennett.
I think there's a very real chance Forte's workload is decreased with John Fox at the helm in Chicago. His teams have never had a problem with mixing it up in the backfield and if one of the reserve backs proves to be capable, Fox and Gase will not hesitate to split carries.
But even with a reduced workload, I think Forte has the respect league wide to pop up on the Top 100 again next year. His carries and catches may come down, but I think his yards per carry could go up running behind a line that should be rededicated to running the ball.
Two years ago Jeffery was #54 on the NFL Network's Top 100 of 2014, but he failed to make it this time. He was slowed by injuries last year, but with Marshall now shipped out of town, Jeffery is the clear cut number one wide out on the team.
McPhee made the Top 100 from CBS Sports this offseason as a part time player for the Ravens. If he's the focal point of the new defense for the Bears, and his versatility should allow that, then his numbers could go way up, as will his national exposure.
And here are a few dark horse candidates to make the Top 100 in 2016.
I really think Fuller will benefit from the better scheme around him. If he can stay healthy, I think he will be among the league leaders in turnovers. He had four interceptions and three forced fumbles last year, which was tops among all rookies.
It's tough for offensive linemen to make the NFLN's Top 100, but if Long makes it 3 for 3 in Pro Bowls, he could sneak in. He was #81 in CBS Sports Top 100 this offseason, so he has some national acclaim.
Rookies have made the Top 100 in the past, but White will need to make a number of splashy plays to get the type of recognition needed to leapfrog his way on to the list. But with his speed and catch radius, getting yards in chucks and doing so in spectacular fashion, is a possibility.
Which 2015 Chicago Bears do you think could makes the 2016 Top 100 NFL Player list?