Super Early Projection For Bears 2020 53-Man Roster

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

This Fanpost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member, and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.

Chicago Bears Projected 53-Man Roster


QBs (2)

1A) Nick Foles

1B) Mitchell Trubisky

Practice Squad Candidate: Tyler Bray

This will be the talk of training camp and the preseason (coronavirus willing they happen). I love Mitch's athleticism and his occasional playmaking, but his inconsistency as a passer and inability to master coverages really holds the offense back. Foles is the ultimate backup, and he is the anti-Trubisky; a QB who can read defenses and throw the ball accurately.

If there is a preseason, I think the starter will be decided throughout those games, but these two certainly aren't being left off the roster... Bray likely makes the practice squad for the 900th time.

RBs (3)

RB1: David Montgomery

RB2/RB3: Tarik Cohen, Current FA

Practice Squad Candidates: Ryan Nall, Artavis Pierce, Napoleon Maxwell

Montgomery returns as the starter; as the Bears hope he can improve and build on his rookie season, with improved OL play and better play calling. Cohen will continue you to work as the jack of all trades in this offense. Nagy needs to find better ways to use Cohen this season; although Cohen would do himself some favors by focusing on running more North/South rather than his usual East/West, despite its occasional success.

Personally, I think the 3rd RB is not currently on the roster unless the Bears feel super confident in Nall or one of their UDFA's shows out. I see Pace bringing in a veteran with similar abilities to Benny Cunningham of years past, who can play a little special teams but also fill in for the offense when needed.

WRs (6)

WR1: Allen Robinson, Javon Wims

WR2: Ted Ginn Jr., Riley Ridley

Slot: Anthony Miller, Corderrelle Patterson

Players To Watch: Ridley, Darnell Mooney, Tarik Cohen, Trevor Davis

Practice Squad Candidates: Darnell Mooney, Ahmad Wagner, Thomas Ives

With the recent signing of Ted Ginn Jr. I think the Bears are more comfortable in their starting trio in Robinson, Ginn and Miller in the slot. Behind those 3 things could get interesting. One would assume Wims fills in as the backup, go up and get it, "WR1" that Allen Robinson occupies (and dominates). Patterson will continue to provide great special teams value as a returner and gunner. Hopefully his role in the offense becomes more impactful and Nagy finds a way to maximize his talents. As a 4th round pick last year I have to assume Ridley makes this roster to back up Ginn. While not the burner that Ginn or even Mooney is, Ridley is known as a good route runner and hopefully can show some of that big play ability his brother has displayed with the Falcons. The bottom of this WR group should be interesting as I don't think Mooney has the body built to contribute in Year 1 and the addition of Ginn more or less proves that. Furthermore, more production out of the TE position (more of that to come) and the undefined roles of Cohen and Patterson could really impact how this roster shakes out in relation to how many guys actually make the team.

TEs (5)

U TE: Jimmy Graham, Ben Braunecker

Y TE: Demetrius Harris, Cole Kmet

TE/FB: J.P. Holtz

Practice Squad Candidates: Jesper Horsted, Eric Saubert

Good as Gone: Adam Shaheen, Darion Clark

Aaah, the infamous 10 TEs... while overblown, I do believe the good ole saying "if you have 10 TEs you have none, may apply here." Regardless, Graham, Harris and Kmet seem locks for the roster, with Graham slotting in as the "move" TE with Demetrius Harris starting as the Y TE. Kmet is the guy to watch as he projects as more of a Y but we could see him in both roles. I would expect Holtz to return as he has position flexibility at TE (U and Y) and worked as a decent FB last season. Braunecker will also be a guy to watch as he provides some flexibility and special teams value, but the Bears could save a little money by cutting him. With the instability at the position last season I would expect him to make the roster, as the Bears know what they are getting from him, and the combination of a 36 year old TE and a rookie, may also prove to be unstable. At this point, Adam Shaheen should not even be on the roster, the Bears can save some money by cutting him, similarly to Braunecker, and he has shown no promise or special team value to remain on the TE as a possible 4th TE... Pace definitely swung and miss with this one...

OL (8)

LT: Charles Leno Jr., Jason Spriggs

LG: James Daniels, Alex Bars

C: Cody Whitehair

RG: Germain Ifedi, Rashaad Coward

RT: Bobby Massie

Players To Watch: Bars, Spriggs, Coward, Possible FA

Practice Squad Candidates: Arlington Hambright, Lachavious Simmons, Sam Mustipher

The Bears started last season with 8 offensive linemen and I think they do the same thing here... though who those guys may be is a huge question. The starters are more or less a lock, with Leno, Daniels, Whitehair and Massie locking down their positions from the end of last season and I believe Ifedi's athleticism and experience (however maligned) should give him the edge.

Spriggs, figures to be the swing tackle if healthy, which would secure him a position. Coward and Bars both figure to be in the fight for right guard, though Coward may have some flexibility to jump out to right tackle. I could see the Bears keeping both of these guys as the Bears seem to be high on Coward, and Bars flashed in the preseason and should now be 100% coming off his ACL injury. This position could get interesting if either of the rookies "Ham" and "Pig" show any signs of being able to contribute in Year 1. Things could get interesting if the Bears decide to flip Whitehair and Daniels, again, again??? though Whitehair figures to provide more stability at a more important position in center at this stage of their careers. We could also see the Bears add a veteran C/G type because of their lack of true center behind Whitehair and not wanting to slide Daniels out of his position, if anything were to happen to Whitehair. Something of that nature could also impact the roster spots of Coward and Bars, as they do not have that type of flexibility the Bears may need. This will certainly be a position group to watch as it has a lot of competition and should play a crucial role in improving this offense.


DL (6)

DE1: Akiem Hicks, Brent Urban

NT: Eddie Goldman, John Jenkins

DE2: Bilal Nichols, Roy Robertson-Harris

Practice Squad Candidates: Abdullah Anderson, Trevon McSwain, Lee Autry, Lacale London

This position groups figures to be one of most locked in and similar to last season. The trio of Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman and Bilal Nichols figure to start and dominate on running downs. While RRH figures to rotate in and contribute in pass rushing situations. Urban and Jenkins add some veteran stability behind Hicks and Goldman that lacked a little bit with the injuries to Hicks last season. Abdullah Anderson could challenge for a spot as he flashed a little pass rush ability and flexibility to work the nose at times last season. The UDFA's may be able to challenge for playing time at the nose if they flash in the preseason but more likely are looking at landing on the practice squad.

OLBs (4)

OLB1: Khalil Mack, Trevis Gipson

OLB2: Robert Quinn, Barkevious Mingo

Players To Watch: Isaiah Irving, Ledarius Mack

Practice Squad Candidates: Ledarius Mack, James Vaughters

This position is just a little bit top heavy, with All Pro Khalil Mack on one side and speedster Robert Quinn on the other. These 2 figure to carry the group and should provide the push up front that had been lacking when the position was occupied by Leonard Floyd. Behind them is Mingo who figures to make the roster as a special teams ace, and rotational pass rusher. The Bears are high on Gipson and he has the potential to be a rotational pass rusher in Year 1.

Due to the steady presence of Mack and Quinn I don't see the Bears carrying more than 4 players at this position. Isaiah Irving's role seems to be occupied by Mingo this season likely leaving him off the roster and I would expect Ledarius Mack or James Vaughters to land on the practice squad. Personally, I am intrigued to see Ledarius play as we know what his brother brings, and grow and develop into a rotational speed rusher that would just be awesome to see. I have also heard he may have the make up to transition to inside backer, which would also be something to watch.

ILBs (5)

ILB1: Danny Trevathan, Veteran FA

ILB2: Roquan Smith, Josh Woods/Joel Iyiegbuniwe,

Players To Watch: Iyeigbuniwe, Woods, Rashad Smith

Practice Squad Candidates: Woods, Smith, Keandre Jones

Inside linebacker seems to be the all or nothing position. As it stands Trevathan and Smith should combine to form one of the better duos in the league. However, Trevathan is a 30 year old with a decent amount of mileage and Smith is coming off a strange season, for several reasons, and a pectoral injury that is always a possibility to rear its ugly head. Health and personal issues withstanding these two should be fun to watch. Behind them is a bit of mystery...

I expect the Bears to add a veteran free agent here soon or possibly closer to training camp after a few rounds of cut. They could use someone to provide the stability that Nick Kwiatkoski and Kevin Pierre-Louis showed last season. For the final spot I expect a battle between Woods and Iggy as they both have special teams value but have shown little on defense, if one does shine expect them to make the roster as the Bears need reliable depth at the position. Rashad Smith is someone to watch as he was a captain and productive player at Maryland. Personally, I think if Smith shows out on defense he should grab the spot. If not, I would expect Woods to grab the 4th spot, as Iggy has shown more struggles on defense, and it may be time for the Bears to move on.

CBs (6)

CB1: Kyle Fuller, Kevin Toliver

CB2: Jaylon Johnson, Artie Burns

NCB: Buster Skrine, Kindle Vildor

Players To Watch: Roberson, Vildor, Tre Roberson, Duke Shelley, Stephen Denmark, Sherrick McManis

Practice Squad Candidates: Shelley, Denmark

Kyle Fuller and 2nd Round Pick, Jaylon Johnson should be the starters at CB, while Buster Skrine occupies the nickel/slot corner spot. A lot of competition was added throughout the offseason making this one of the most interesting groups to watch. Artie Burns has "former 1st round pick" to his name and showed promise despite his recent struggles in Pittsburgh. I like Burns but I see him as a starter or off the roster type player, he'll either show he should be CB2/CB3 or the Bears won't keep him around. I think the competition between Burns, Toliver and Roberson is the one to watch. The Bears seem to be high on Toliver, while Roberson has some "professional experience" coming over from the CFL as a former converted QB. I see the Bears sticking with Toliver and Burns as they both have speed, and a little more experience at the position than Roberson.

The backup nickel back and bottom of the depth chart will be interesting to watch as there are a lot of question marks about positional flexibility and draft status. I have to believe that Kindle Vildor makes this roster as Ryan Pace decided to use a draft pick on him after drafting Johnson in the 2nd Round and Duke Shelley last year. If not I would expect Shelley to make the roster as the backup nickel. Denmark may see another "red-shirt" season or year on the practice squad as he potentially shifts to safety to better use his size, at 6'2" 217lbs. I could see Sherrick McManis hanging around as he is an excellent special teamer, and showed flexibility to play all DB spots after seeing some time at safety last year.

Safety (4)

FS: Eddie Jackson, DeAndre Houston-Carson/Sherrick McMannis

SS: Tashuan Gipson, Deon Bush, Jordan Lucas

Players To Watch: Stephen Denmark, Lucas, McMannis, Kentrell Brice

With the recent signing of Tashuan Gipson the Bears figure to have a powerful starting duo in Eddie Jackson and Gipson at free and strong safety, respectively. Deon Bush figures to be the first safety off the bench as he has been the past few seasons, though I could see him as a potential, though unlikely, trade candidate if new adds Jordan Lucas or Kentrell Brice show ability on defense. Brice has starting experience despite being out of the NFL last year and Lucas provides solid special teams play. DHC and Sherrick should compete for the 4th safety spot, though I see Sherrick winning that one, as his previous CB flexibility would give him the edge. Denmark, Lucas, and Brice would be the players to watch as if they make any noise, it could push one of the veterans off the roster.

Special Teams (3)

K: Eddy Piñeiro

P: Pat O'Donnell

LS: Patrick Scales

Practice Squad Candidates: Ramiz Ahmed

Piñeiro, and the "Pats", figure to be the trio returning from last season for the special teams unit. Scales and O'Donnell should provide steady play at their positions, while the Bears hope Piñeiro can build on last season, where he battled through injuries but finished the season strong. Ramiz Ahmed was added as a UDFA and the Bears could keep him on the practice squad. I would expect Piñeiro to get the majority of reps, rather than this be an open competition. Hopefully the Bears have finally found their young kicker to rely on and develop.

Final Roster Spot: (1)

Abdullah Anderson, Darnell Mooney, Iggy/Woods, DCH/McMannis, Denmark/Shelley/Roberson

If any of you are good at math you'll notice there is one roster spot remaining. I see this going to one of the players above based on the criteria of: Special Teams Value, Positional Flexibility, Depth at Position and Practice Squad Status. I would keep an eye on Mooney as a 7th WR with deep speed, and not being able to slip onto the practice squad. If not I like the ILB combo of Iggy or Josh Woods, based on the lack of depth at the position or Abdullah Anderson for the same reason and his production last season. The defensive backs could certainly challenge for the spot if they show special teams value and potential on the field.

Practice Squad:

Who May Have The Inside Track: Anderson, Horsted. Nall, Vaughters, Brice, Shelley

Likely To Compete For A Spot: Simmons, Hambright, Denmark, L. Mack, Wagner, Mustipher, Autry, Ra. Smith

Overall, the Bears have some intriguing position battles to watch this season up and down the roster, specifically at QB, WR, OL, LB, and DB. Despite the Bears 8-8 record, they have one of the more solid starting 22 players in the league, especially on the defensive side of the ball. It will be interesting to see how the back end of the roster rounds out as position versatility and special teams value comes into play; in addition any veterans the Bears may add before training camp and after training camp cuts.

Let me know what you think... Do you think there are players the Bears need to add? Positions they still need to address? Who do you think will win the position battles?

This Fanpost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.

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