By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
Earlier in the offseason, I predicted what the Chicago Bears 53-man roster could look like. (see here)
Well, it is now down to the last preseason game and it is almost quite clear as to who stays and who goes.
The majority of the guys who played in preseason gave it their all, but after watching the game against the Kansas City Chiefs, it is clear to me what the roster should look like.
So here goes…
DT John Jenkins
H Pat O’Donnell
I believe the Bears will keep four tight ends on the roster to help shore up the left tackle position. As for the running backs, I think Ryan Nall has the best upside with his size. He’s rushed for 144 yards so far in preseason.
Nall can be that HB/RB hybrid but will end up on the practice squad. It’s a toss-up as to whether or not the Bears keep a fullback on the roster in Michael Burton. Nall and TE Ben Braunecker could be used in that position as well.
Javon Wims has clearly earned a spot on this roster with 15 receptions, 227 receiving yards, and a touchdown. Unfortunately, Joshua Bellamy’s time in Chicago may come to a close, as fan favorite Tyler Gentry will be PC bound.
Center Hroniss Grasu will be moving on as rookie James Daniels fills the backup role at center. With the release of Earl Watford, the right guard position lacks some strength. Kyle Long will need to stay healthy and injury free.
As for the defense, it comes down to performance and upside. No one knows how well Aaron Lynch will be as he has had no real practice or playing time all preseason. The Bears will have to rely on his natural talent to take over on game day.
Rookie Kyle Fitts broke out in the first preseason game but tapered off by Week 3. However, I still think he makes the roster.
But a player that emerged a dark horse with something to prove is defensive tackle Nicholas Williams. Selected by the Steelers in the 7th round of 2013 NFL Draft, he stood out in last week’s game against the Chiefs and in the Hall of Fame game with a sack.
Coach Matt Nagy is all in and will put together the strongest, playmaking team possible. As long as the entire team is obsessed with winning, the Bears might be the dark horse of the league.
Talk Bears football with Wanda on Twitter // @WandaW63