Monday, July 28, 2014
Chicago Bears' projected roster
By Michael C. Wright
Examining the Chicago Bears' roster:
Jimmy Clausen continues to gain ground on Jordan Palmer, and appears poised to unseat the him for the No. 2 job behind Cutler. Fales' delivery looks a bit odd, but he knows where to go with the ball, makes quick decisions and anticipates well. Fales needs to throw it downfield more.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
Local favorite Jordan Lynch probably won't make the 53-man roster, but he's certainly flashed early on at camp. Lynch appears to be a practice-squad candidate, but other teams could become interested if the former quarterback plays well in the preseason.
Despite the team's high expectations, Wilson has been relatively quiet early on at camp, while Marshall and Jeffery have shown they might finish 2014 as the NFL's top duo at the position. Morgan has made a few plays at camp, as has Weems and Chris Williams, who are both in the mix for roles on special teams as well. The Bears could choose to go with six at this position, and if that's the case, Williams makes the cut if he hasn't already as a special-teamer.
TIGHT ENDS (2)
All the candidates possess different strengths. So it will come down to what the Bears want in a No. 2 tight end. If they want blocking, Matthew Mulligan is the guy. If they want consistency, it's Dante Rosario. If they want a young, all-around player, it's Miller, who still needs to improve as a blocker.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (10)
The team's newcomers at these position will find it difficult to crack the roster, because this group is deep. The starting five from 2013 returns for this season. Brown, Britton and De La Puente are capable of starting
DEFENSIVE LINE (10)
Scott, Lane and Collins will likely push out some of the youngsters, such as Cornelius Washington, who hasn't turned heads during the first week of camp. Scott has been impressive early on at camp, as has Young.
Jordan Senn won't make this team based off special teams alone, and Greene just seems to have a knack for being around the ball and making plays. Besides that, the Bears won't be giving up on the 2013 fourth-rounder because he hasn't given them any reason to.
Now fully healed, Hayden made plays every day in the first week of camp, and is making the evaluation process difficult for the coaching staff, which wants to keep Jennings inside at nickel on sub packages so rookie first-rounder Fuller can get on the field.
Conte and Craig Steltz remain sidelined, which isn't helping their chances of making the team. But when healthy, Conte -- despite his subpar 2013 season -- is probably the most talented athlete of the position group. It appears the Bears are bringing along Wilson slowly with few reps. The veteran needs to make the most of the few snaps he's been given.
Williams has been solid as a receiver thus far at camp, which might push him ahead of Micheal Spurlock, Armanti Edwards and Josh Bellamy.