Here are the 10 best players on the team as they enter training camp.
10. Kevin White, WR. There’s definitely projection in this ranking but almost everyone has the same report on White: stud. While far from a finished product, most expect him to be a playmaker right away. He has the potential to be one of the best wide receivers in the league.
9. Jerrell Freeman, LB. When I watched Freeman, the one thing that really stood out to me was his ability to make blockers miss. Even in a phone booth, he’d make a little move to slip the block and make a play. Last season was by far his best, but the arrow seems to be pointing up even though he’s 30 years old.
8. Adrian Amos, S. A lot has been made of Amos not having ball skills, but I’m not too worried about that. He’s a torpedo who delivered more big hits than anyone else on the team last year. He has the potential to be one of the best safeties in the league.
7. Willie Young, LB. It was evident when Young got back to 100 percent last season. He had 18 hurries and 5 1/2 sacks in his final eight games as he recovered for a torn achilles suffered a year earlier. In two years with the Bears, he has 70 tackles and 16.5 sacks
6. Eddie Goldman, DL. A bit of projection in this one too but it seems safe. He was a good player at just 21 years old last year, showing more pass-rush than the Bears could have imagined. He struggled against the run early last year, but got better. He says he’s leaner this year, if that’s true, he could be able to dominate the middle of the line.
5. Danny Trevathan, LB. Has yet to play a game, but we know what he is. One of the best inside linebackers in the league as he can run sideline-to-sideline and, as we saw first hand last year, excels in coverage over the middle. He isn’t going to shed blocks, but the Bears aren’t going to ask him to.
4. Alshon Jeffery, WR. When he was on the field last year, he was the team’s best skill position player. Jeffery regularly made big plays as he had five or more catches in six of the nine games he played and topped 100 yards five times. He’s not as explosive as the elite players at his position and has some concentration issues, but he’s someone the opponents have to account for every play.
3. Pernell McPhee, LB. It’s easy to forget how dominant McPhee was in the first half of last season. Opponents just couldn’t block him one-on-one. The dude blocked a field goal because he said he felt disrespected. He plays angry and with effort. A knee injury slowed him down in the second half of the season, but I’m counting on him being the player he was early on.
2. Kyle Long, OG. The Bears hurt Long by moving him to tackle last year, but he did better than a lot of guys would’ve (see what happened when the Packers put Josh Sitton at tackle late last season).
Regardless of position, Long is a mauler in the run game. The last time we saw him at guard, he was also a great pass-blocker. If he can revert back to that form, he’s unquestionably one of the best guards in the league and maybe the best player on the team.
1. Jay Cutler, QB. Forget positional value for a second. Cutler has consistently been a very good player for a long time. Who else on their roster can say that?
Even in a “down” year two years ago, Cutler scored 30 touchdowns in 15 games. He led the league in turnovers, but most of his lost fumbles and interceptions came when the outcome of the game wasn’t really in doubt.
He’s a leader and makes everyone around him better. He may never be an MVP candidate or considered the best quarterback in the league, but he is the best player on the Bears.