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Ranking the Bears: Key Players Across the Roster

| July 26th, 2017

As we continue down the list, we get to the heart of the roster and an area where I really see the Bears lacking. While there are a number of really good players on this list, I just don’t know how many the team can really rely upon. Injuries issues. Age. Low Ceilings.

But here they are, ranked with short bios. Once again, you’re welcome.

40. Mark Sanchez, QB. Maybe this is a bit high but just two years ago he completed 64% of his passes with an average of 7.8 yards per attempt. That’s pretty good. Now in his 30s, he has to be the veteran presence for Trubisky.

39. Tarik Cohen, RB/KR. Everyone who has seen the Bears practice over the offseason has noted how much Cohen has been used in team drills. I need to see him with the pads on before I’l be sold he can be an impact player but the Bears seem ready to throw a lot at him.

38. Deon Bush, S. Took Bush awhile to get on the field last year and he didn’t really do much when he did. Only got his hands on the ball once in six starts. That was a dropped interception in the end zone.

37.  Jon Bullard, DL. No rookie was more disappointing last year. The word throughout camp was that Bullard was ready to make an impact, but once the season started it was clear that wasn’t true. He just didn’t know how to play the way the Bears wanted him too. Can he adjust? We’ll find out this year.

36. Eddie Jackson, S/PR. If not for a leg injury last year, Jackson could’ve been a first round pick. He’s a ball hawk who makes big plays once he gets his hands on the ball with five interceptions the past two years. My concern is that he isn’t the Vic Fangio prototype. Jackson is a natural center fielder. Fangio typically prefers to have his safeties be interchangeable.

35. Victor Cruz, WR

34. Kendall Wright, WR

Lumped these two together because their stories are basically the same. Two slot receivers who have been productive in the past, but struggled in recent years. I gave Wright the edge because he’s a bit younger and caught 69 percent of his targets last year whereas Cruz managed to haul in around 52 percent. In fact, Wright has never caught fewer than 60 percent of his targets. I’m not sure this camp battle matters that much since neither are among the team’s top three receivers and Cam Meredith is more than capable of playing in the slot.

(Jeff’s Note: I think Kendall Wright is going to be a big part of the Bears offense this season. I think Cruz is shot.)

33. Mitch Unrein, DL. Just does his job. Won’t provide much for pass rush, but can occasionally spring free and is stout against the run.

32. Adam Shaheen, TE. There’s a buzz around the huge rookie. Early word is he’s quick and has great hands. Could make an impact as a red zone target early and I expect him to see more snaps as the season progresses.

31. Jeremy Langford, RB. Kind of a forgotten man. As a rookie, he had a nine-game stretch in which he averaged 85 yards from scrimmage despite playing less than 60 percent of the snaps. He doesn’t break tackles and drops passes, but he has breakaway speed and is very effective in short yardage situations. He’s not Tony Dorsett but he’s a capable backup.

30. Bryce Callahan, CB. He’s been good when healthy, but I wonder if he’ll ever hold up at his size. A freak athlete who is aggressive and instinctive.

29. Eric Kush, C/G. A surprise last year after being cut by the Rams. Can play three positions at an adequate level and could be called on early if Kyle Long isn’t ready to go early in the season.

28. Mike Glennon, QB. My thoughts on Glennon are pretty well known. He has a good arm and did some good things early in his career, but he’s terribly inaccurate. Hasn’t completed 60 percent of his passes in any season in which he’s thrown more than 12 passes since his junior year at North Carolina State. He gets credit for not throwing interceptions, but that was only true his rookie year. Was intercepted on three percent of his passes in 2014 and threw 29 interceptions his junior and senior years at NC State. Is it possible he has improved over the years? Sure, but I need to see it. If he can protect the ball and make throws down the field, he can help the team. In reality, he should be a backup.

27. Nick Kwiatkoski, LB. Probably doesn’t get enough credit for the way he was able to play last year despite missing all of camp. Thrust into the lineup several times and certainly showed some limitations, but Fangio seems to be a big fan and there’s a lot to like. Athletic and tough player.

26. Marcus Cooper, CB. Has ball skills, but got burned a lot. He just might drive us crazy this year, but if he makes more big plays than he gives up, it’ll be worth it. Considered to be an ascending player. I have to think Eddy D. and Fangio know what they’re doing with this one.

25. Dion Sims, TE. His contract left a lot of people scratching their heads, but it’s based mostly on potential. A lot of people who followed the Dolphins closely have told me his blocking is incredibly overrated, but he’s a big body and a good athlete. If TE coach Frank Smith can get the most out of him, he could be a bargain.

24. Markus Wheaton, WR. A shoulder injury caused him to miss most of last year and become an afterthought. He caught 44 passes with an average of 17 yards per catch in 2015 and 53 passes in 2014 as part of a high-flying Pittsburgh attack. Ideally, he’d be the Bears third receiver and a deep threat who opens the rest of the field. He showed that ability at Pittsburgh, but if the Bears need him to be more than that, it could be trouble.

23. Adrian Amos, S. Really struggled at times last year after a strong rookie season. Should benefit playing next to a quality veteran in Quintin Demps, which will also allow him to play closer to the line of scrimmage – his strength. Doesn’t have ball skills, but has shown the ability to do pretty much everything else. Kind of reminds me of Tony Parrish.

(Jeff’s Note: Tony Parrish was a terrific player. Adrian Amos had one of the worst sophomore slumps in recent memory. I have no confidence that player who flashed as a rookie will be returning to the field.)

22. Charles Leno Jr., LT. An adequate left tackle, nothing more. Facing a make or break year, I’m interested to see how he does. I had him down for 10 bad runs, 5 sacks and 16 QB hits allowed last year. He also committed 6 penalties. The Bears can survive with Leno.

21. Mitch Trubisky, QB. With his build, mobility, accuracy and arm strength, I think he has the ability to play as a rookie. The playbook would have to be paired down, just as it does for every rookie quarterback, but the upside of what he can do — especially if a play breaks down — and the experience he’d gain by playing are worth it. That said, I don’t think he’s going to get the opportunity to compete for the starting job.

20. Kyle Fuller, CB. A forgotten man. I don’t think Fuller is going to make the team because I think Fangio hates him. It’s clear the front office sees something in him or he’d be elsewhere by now. Played well as a sophomore, but Fangio has issues with his attitude and some think he wasn’t in good enough shape in camp last year. A player to watch because if he can play like he did two years ago, he might be the best corner on the team.

19. Bobby Massie, RT. Struggled early last season, but was pretty good over the last 12 games or so. Really didn’t give up many negative plays, I blamed him for three sacks and five bad runs and he only committed three penalties last year. Had the fewest number of bad runs among the team’s regular starters.

18. Lamarr Houston, Edge. Hard to really know what to expect after two ACL tears in three years, but he’s been good when he’s played. Not as athletic or disciplined as the team would like, but does a good job setting the edge and is a solid pass rusher.

17. Kevin White, WR. We just don’t know what Kevin White is. He struggled early last season then started to come around when Brian Hoyer took over at QB. Was it just confidence issues compounded by a quarterback who was hard on receivers? The talent is clear, but this is year three and it’s time to see something.

16. Danny Trevathan, LB. Once again, we just don’t know about Trevathan going forward. He’s had numerous significant injuries including a torn patella tendon last year. My guess is that he won’t be ready when the season starts and if Kwiatkoski plays well, he might have a hard time getting back on the field.

15. Zach Miller, TE. Probably the team’s second best receiving threat behind Cam Meredith, but he’s never healthy. With younger options on the roster, I expect the Bears to look to trade Miller, but he’s considered a leader and could be a good influence for the young tight ends.

14. Jaye Howard, DL. This might be the team’s biggest free agent steal. Howard is a good player released a year into a lucrative contract because of an injury last year. He has been given a clean bill of health and should see plenty of snaps this year. A clear upgrade over what Fangio has had as his third down lineman since coming to the Bears.

13. Prince Amukamara, CB. Stop me if you’re heard this before, but Prince is a good player who has just not been able to stay healthy. Played well for the Jags last year on a pass defense that was pretty good. Was a good player for the Giants too as a former first-round pick, but neither team wanted to deal with his injury woes.

12. Quintin Demps, S. The team finally has a ball hawk in the secondary. While his six interceptions were a career high, Demps had four in both 2013 and 2014 so it wasn’t a complete fluke. At 32 years old, they hope this isn’t an Antrel Rolle situation again, but everyone knew Rolle was done when the team signed him, Demps still has his legs. For now, at least.

11. Willie Young, Edge. Despite battling a leg injury for the second half of the season, I charted Young with a team-leading 23.5 hurries to go with his team-high 7.5 sacks. He was also tied for third on the team with six QB hits and has always been considered a plus run defender. He’ll turn 32 early next season and doesn’t move quite as well as he used to, but he can still get the job done.

Tagged:

  • Scharfinator

    I’m interested to see who Andrew ranks as FIRST.

    • leftcoastdave

      That would clearly be Daniel Braverman.

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        unfortunately He already has BRAVERMAN listed at 85. What a fricken crime! I am starting to think AD doesn’t know shit about football.

    • Corporal Clott

      Howard. It’s a no brainer.

  • King of DBB

    Ha you compared Langford to Tony Dorsett because they both wear #33. I see what you did there.

    • Irish Sweetness

      The only way I could both into a sentence was “Dorsett was good, Jeremy isn’t.”

      • King of DBB

        Langford is a Spartan. Spartans suck.

        Andre Rison and what? Anything?

        • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

          Morten Andersen. and recently Le’Veon Bell

  • Irish Sweetness

    1. Tarik – why have we heard nothing about training camp? Who covers it? I miss YourBoyRoy. That’s the kind of content that’s useful and worthy of notice.

    2. Eddie Jackson – maybe Fangio needs to be dealing with who he has rather than what he’d like. That he doesn’t believe in pressure is bad enough (nobody blitzes less than the Bears, and in a sport of balance that’s insane), but not adapting your play to the pieces you actually have …

    3. Gummo – If he’s so inaccurate then why are we paying him 18M a year? If Sanchez is better then what does that say about Pace (not to mention his expensive draft pick)?

    4. ” Dion Sims, TE. His contract left a lot of people scratching their heads, but it’s based mostly on potential. ”

    Well fuck that. Who gets paid on their potential? What genius signed him?

    5. So Leno is our worst liability not Massie? The dude needs to be airlocked but I can never get anyone in the boat with me. We’ll need a running game with our single solitary workhorse and mostly decent players on the OL isn’t good enough.

    • leftcoastdave

      Irish: Here’s some love for TaFreak. I think we’re gonna have many reasons to love him.

      http://dawindycity.com/2017/07/26/chicago-bears-camp-turn-heads/

    • CanadaBear

      What does that tell you when nobody agrees with you?

      Fangio doesn’t blitz much, so what? With the back end the Bears have had the last two years, blitzing would have been suicide. Floyd is the only one with much juice to blitz.

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      the reason no one has heard anything about training camp is because it only officially started TODAY.

    • BerwynBomber

      “Well fuck that. Who gets paid on their potential? What genius signed him?”

      See Jay Cutler and Phil Emery, circa 2014 off-season.

      AKA … happens all the time.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon gone for the season. Time for Pace to shop Carey/Langford.

    • King of DBB

      Shop Fuller. Otherwise make his camp miserable, make him run sprints and fine him again & again for anything short of obedience.

      Start taking his money away and see how that plays

    • leftcoastdave

      I think Pace has his ear to the ground to look to get something for Carey or Langford, Miller and Grassu at this point.

      With your earlier post about the tackles, I cannot agree with your take. While they have never been stellar and Massie had some issues early, they now look to be at least amazingly adequate with the HUGE intangible of continuity with core three. Whitehead is the best draft pick since Dick Butkis and only Jordan Howard could possibly prove better. Time will tell. Then there are the great vets of Long and Sitton with quality experienced, gelled vets. That continuity is much more valuable than anything an O can have in both running assignments and picking up the pass rush from unexpected quarters.

      This proved to be very, very good with the mundane smash mouth of Jordan Howard. Now add Tarik the Freak to the mix and we may see it become much, much more.

      • BerwynBomber

        “Whitehead is the best draft pick since Dick Butkis and only Jordan Howard could possibly prove better.”

        Really? Better than Lach, Briggs and Peanut. Let alone Payton and the 80s D guys?

        • SC Dave

          Maybe because we never drafted a guy named Butkis?

        • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

          don’t forget BRAVERMAN!

        • leftcoastdave

          Hey, come on, that was intended to be hyperbolic. Sweetness remains “the man” among men. Many more arguments can be made. Maybe I should have named someone from the 50’s. That was the point. Cody Whitehair will be an impact player with big time longevity absent the dreaded “I” word. He was like finding the hope diamond. First year out of the box pressed into service our of position and bang, a stud, a qb of the line a rock solid anchor. That with the dudes flanking him raise this line to the next level, even with just “average” tackles.

    • CanadaBear

      Yeah, that conditional 7th rd pick (if they make the roster) they would get back should really put the Beloved over the top.

      • Corporal Clott

        Gotta love Irish, lol. He still thinks he’s at the horse race’s from time to time.

        • CanadaBear

          Every now and then I like to remind the people that trading so-so players (at best) isn’t going to be a godsend. Kinda like Cutler bringing back a #1 pick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • King of DBB

    Release Kevin White and bring in Lucky Whitehead and give him the 13 jersey

    • Corporal Clott

      Was the pustuous pimple named after a Whitehead or was it the other way around? And how come nobody has the surname of Blackhead? Come to think of it, there’s no Yellowheads either. Is this the wrong format to bring up some of my lifelong questions that have yet to be answered?

    • Corporal Clott

      The Prince William County Police “Department said the man who was arrested didn’t have identification with him.”

      I’d like to know why there’s a county named after Prince William?

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        I thought it was funny that the Police did not take a mug shot.

  • Elect A Clown. Expect A Circus

    21. Mitch Trubisky, QB. That said, I don’t think he’s going to get the opportunity to compete for the starting job.

    Finally the reality dawns that there is no QB competition in training camp.

  • Corporal Clott

    Blah blah blah blah blah! Reading football fiction gets old, let the games begin already.

    The parts are never greater than the sum….just saying

  • leftcoastdave

    Demps was the best signing Pace has had in FA other than Sitton falling into his lap. The buzz I’ve heard is he will play FS with Amos at SS. But the beauty of Demps is that he has played both FS and SS and with his experience he will QB up the DBs well. I hope to see it being situational with Hall given a shot at FS behind Demps with the rook EJ also being tested in the mix.

    With an anchor back there to learn up the yute, I expect big things. But then, I’ve been a homer long as I can remember.

    • Corporal Clott

      So in other words….Demps will be on IR by week 4?

      • leftcoastdave

        Yep, it is clearly half empty.

        • Corporal Clott

          “Half empty” would be an improvement over the last 4 years.

  • Corporal Clott

    “This is discriminatory, and un-American. To the transgender servicemembers who defend our nation, I stand with you.” Surly Jeff

    Jess, I agree. It’s just not fair they don’t get to die on the battlefield as well. The best message citizens of this country can send President Trump would be to demand he fire all straight people in the military ASAP. Disband this racist organization called the “Armed Services” now! Hee hee

  • Corporal Clott

    “No politician has spoiled his legacy more than John McCain. Terribly sad” Surly Jeff

    Actually, I can think of quite a few.

  • CanadaBear

    Amos is a backup on a decent team (if he even makes the roster). Fuller is a non-entity unless he decides to play. Even then, he’s below avg.

  • Corporal Clott

    Here’s a ranking that will shock the nation when the Bears take the victory formation.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/category/rumor-mill/

    Bears ranked 30th? Not sure about dat.

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    I can’t believe there is no mention of Unrein’s fullback ability

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