Sunday, May 22, 2022

Chicago Bears 53-Man Roster Prediction Ahead Of Training Camp

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The Chicago Bears appear to have finished making any more big moves ahead of OTAs. Presuming this is the roster they will carry into training camp, it is one rich with intrigue. GM Ryan Poles has done a fair job overhauling it, replacing almost two-thirds of the roster since he took over in January. Not all of the changes are likely to work out, but it’s a clear message that he plans to build this thing in his vision.



So perhaps this is a good time to start projecting what the final 53 will look like come to the end of August. There are plenty of variables in play here. Poles may still add one or two veterans in the coming weeks. There could also be unexpected injuries. Even so, it isn’t too difficult to get an idea of how things will shake out. Here is a list of how I think the roster will end up come September.

Chicago Bears 2022 final roster should look like this

QB:

  1. Justin Fields
  2. Trevor Siemian

These days, the standard operating procedure for teams is to carry two quarterbacks on the roster. Nothing has changed over the past couple of months to suggest it will be anybody other than Fields and Siemian going into the regular season. Nathan Peterman is an extra camp arm that will eat up playing time late in the preseason. They may also stash him on the practice squad for emergencies.

RB:

  1. David Montgomery
  2. Khalil Herbert
  3. Trestan Ebner
  4. Khari Blasingame

Montgomery and Herbert figure to form the 1-2 punch they became last season and in a scheme that is even better for them. Ebner is a 6th round pick, and the change-of-pace type of back the Bears need to create variety in their backfield. It is also clear the new regime wants to bring back the fullback, so Blasingame stays on the roster by default.

WR:

  1. Darnell Mooney
  2. Byron Pringle
  3. Velus Jones
  4. Equanimeous St. Brown
  5. Dante Pettis
  6. Nsimba Webster

The standard tactic for teams is to use the top part of a receiving corp for playmakers and the bottom portion for special teams. There is a perfect balance here. Mooney, Pringle, and Jones should form the primary trio for Fields in the passing game. St. Brown has good experience as a reserve, as does Pettis. Both also offer value in the third phase. Webster may seem like a surprise, but he had five special teams tackles last season. He’ll be needed on kick and punt coverage.

TE:

  1. Cole Kmet
  2. Ryan Griffin
  3. James O’Shaughnessy
  4. Chase Allen

People seem down on Kmet despite his improvement in 2021. Hopefully, he’ll take another step forward in a better offense. Griffin and O’Shaughnessy both have the skillsets the Shanahan-style offense Luke Getsy plans to implement typically requires, thanks to their speed and pass-catching prowess. However, it’s still a run-first offense and that requires blocking. This is why the undrafted rookie Allen sneaks in as the 4th guy. Big, long, and more than strong enough to move people.

OL:

  1. Teven Jenkins
  2. Cody Whitehair
  3. Larry Borom
  4. Lucas Patrick
  5. Braxton Jones
  6. Zachary Thomas
  7. Ja’Tyre Carter
  8. Dakota Dozier
  9. Doug Kramer

As of right now, the Chicago Bears have three clear starters up front with Jenkins, Patrick, and Whitehair. Borom is the favorite at left tackle. That will leave a battle between Thomas, Carter, and Dozier at right guard. Jones will be the swing tackle, while Thomas and Carter have the versatility to play that position if needed. Doug Kramer will make a great backup option if Patrick gets injured, but it also feels like more veteran experience will be added to the mix.

DL:

  1. Robert Quinn
  2. Trevis Gipson
  3. Dominique Robinson
  4. Al-Quadin Muhammad
  5. Sam Kamara
  6. Justin Jones
  7. Angelo Blackson
  8. Mario Edwards Jr.
  9. Khyiris Tonga

The Bears appeared situated well enough at defensive end with Quinn, Gipson, Robinson, and Muhammad. Defensive tackle is the bigger issue. Despite having the four options listen, neither the nose tackle nor three-technique spots are truly locked down. Jones is a decent player but hardly a top-tier option. Blackson and Tonga will likely compete for the nose. It won’t be a surprise if Poles adds another body to that mix before the season starts.

LB:

  1. Roquan Smith
  2. Nicholas Morrow
  3. Jeremiah Attaochu
  4. Caleb Johnson
  5. Jack Sanborn

Smith and Morrow will be starters. Attaochu isn’t a fit for defensive end, but he has the body type and versatility to be a decent possibility at strong-side linebacker. Johnson could also compete for that spot and has added value on special teams. Sanborn has the versatility to play outside or in the middle with great run-stopping instincts from his time at Wisconsin. It also won’t be a surprise if he becomes a third phase contributor.

CB:

  1. Jaylon Johnson
  2. Kyler Gordon
  3. Tavon Young
  4. Thomas Graham Jr.
  5. Duke Shelley
  6. Allie Green IV

Cornerback was a mess for Chicago last season outside of Johnson. Thankfully their depth looks much better with the arrivals of Gordon and Young. Graham Jr. makes a solid #4 option. Shelley might be a better fit in Matt Eberflus’ new defense, so he sticks around. Green IV is a talented undrafted rookie with certain traits the new coaching staff tends to favor. If he performs well enough in camp, he should stay put.

S:

  1. Eddie Jackson
  2. Jaquan Brisker
  3. DeAndre Houston-Carson
  4. Dane Cruikshank
  5. Elijah Hicks

Jackson and Brisker should end up as the starting duo when the season begins. Houston-Carson is a special teams mainstay. Cruikshank has lots of value as a safety/linebacker hybrid, especially when covering tight ends. Hicks is a borderline option, but he’s a draft pick and the type of high-energy guy a team likes keeping around. He won’t ignore special teams and has a lot of potential as a free safety.

SPC:

  1. Cairo Santos
  2. Trenton Gill
  3. Antonio Ortiz

The Chicago Bears are in the middle of a youth movement. That much is obvious. Considering they drafted Gill, it’s a safe bet he’ll be their new punter. The bigger surprise is Ortiz unseating Patrick Scales as the new long snapper. Until one remembers that Scales is 34-years old and more expensive than Ortiz. The TCU alum was one of the best snappers in the country last year. If you’re going to move on, now feels like the right time.

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