I was sitting here looking through the 2019 Bears roster and thinking about a few hard cuts that are going to be coming when it’s time to move down to our season-opening 53-man roster.
Unlike many years in the recent past, we are going to let some good players walk (or work last-minute trades) come cut-down time.
Obviously, it’s way too early to tell how the rookies are going to show, but since when has facts like that ever stopped a guy like me from making some wild guesses on the internet?
So here’s my first guess at our 53-man roster on cut-down day, barring injuries. Of course, our other Windy City Gridiron writers will be making their own predictions over the next couple of months, so stay tuned for those as well!
Wide Receivers: Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, Riley Ridley, Cordarrelle Patterson, Javon Wims, Emanuel Hall on IR - 7
The wide-receiver room is absolutely stacked, and usually I would say we would keep no more than 6... but with Cordarrelle Patterson we have a guy that’s as much of a returner and a runner as somebody who catches the ball, I give this group an extra slot. I think the two low-end guys, Wims & Emanuel Hall, are just too high-ceiling and young to release for a team that is going to have be needing to keep younger/cheaper options going forward. I think the Bears give Hall, who’s been diagnosed with a hernia, the “rookie redshirt” and IR him.
Offensive Line: Charles Leno Jr., James Daniels, Cody Whitehair, Kyle Long, Bobby Massie, Ted Larsen, Rashaad Coward. Alex Bars on IR - 7
This unit is solid, and I think Coward has more upside than Bradley Sowell. Alex Bars will get the rookie medical redshirt as well, he just won’t be NFL ready this season with the knee recovery he’s doing.
Tight Ends: Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker, Dax Raymond. - 4
Assuming Raymond shows what I think he will, this room is fairly set.
Quarterbacks: Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel. - 2
Tyler Bray will go though camp, and remain on speed dial... but the Bears carry two QB’s this year.
Running Backs: Mike Davis, Tarik Cohen, David Montgomery, Kerrith Whyte, Jr. - 4
This is a good room as well.
Defensive Ends: Akiem Hicks, Bilal Nichols, Jonathan Bullard, Roy Robertson-Harris - 4
Not much controversy here
Nose Tackle: Eddie Goldman, Abdullah Anderson
Why Anderson? I just like the guy.
Outside Linebacker: Khalil Mack, Leonard Floyd, Aaron Lynch, Kylie Fitts, Mathieu Betts. - 5
Here’s one that I’m going way “outside the box” on but I’ve been watching tape of Betts, he’s the kind of guy Chicago will love. I haven’t seen enough upside from Isaiah Irving to tell me he’s here to stay.
Inside Linebacker: Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Nick Kwiatkoski, Kevin Pierre-Louis - 5
Not as sure on this group... but Pierre-Louis is a great special teams guy.
Outside Cornerback: Kyle Fuller, Prince Amukamara, Kevin Toliver II, Sherrick McManis - 4
The top three are set, and McManis showed a lot of versatility in covering the nickle last year when needed.
Slot Cornerback: Buster Skrine, Duke Shelley - 2
This assumes that Shelley’s technique is good enough for him to stick. BIG assumption.
Safety: Eddie Jackson, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Deon Bush, DeAndre Houston-Carson - EDITED TO ADD (I WAS ONE GUY SHORT) Stephen Denmark - 5
As easy of a group to predict as any
Punter: Pat O’Donnell - 1
Long Snapper: Patrick Scales - 1
Kicker: Eddy Pineiro - 1
I like Pineiro’s tape, but this (obviously) is a pure guess. Don’t rule out Robbie Gould just yet, either.
Practice Squad Predictions: Ryan Nall, Stephen Denmark, John Franklin III, Isaiah Irving, Joe Lowrey, Sam Mustipher plus 4 others from other teams.
Well, if had originally done my late night math right (I didn’t, so I’ve added one more), that’s 53 players. So what do you think, Bears fans? Am I close? Am I dead wrong? Spill the beans!