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Ranking The Bears: The Long Shots (90-60)

| July 23rd, 2019

With training camp getting underway this week, it’s time to get to know the entire roster.

Because I didn’t want you to have to go through the entire roster, I went ahead and did it for you. For the third straight year, I’ve ranked everyone – from the guys who are never going to make it to players who are among the very best in the entire league. What made this year more challenging is the pure depth the Bears have on their roster.

While this list is made up of guys who very likely will never have an impact in the league, there are several who I could easily see surprising.. That just wasn’t the case in years past. The Bears are good and that shows even at the very bottom of the roster.

90. Elliott Fry, K

If he can go 14-for-14 in the minor leagues, surely he can make kicks in the NFL, right? God I hope so.

89. Eddy Pineiro, K

I’ve been told he has a huge leg. Would’ve won the Raiders job if not for an injury, so that has to be worth something, right?

(Note: If the two kickers continue missing as much as they did throughout the spring, this is a very accurate ranking for them. What good is a kicker who can’t make kicks in practice. Good thing they have time to get better.)

88. Josh Wirtel, longsnapper

I have no idea if he’s in camp for the hell of it or if he’s actually going to compete with Pat Scales. I also had no idea he existed until three minutes ago.

87. Blake Blackmar, OL

One of the biggest dudes on the team at 326 pounds. Didn’t test well in the pre-draft process, which likely makes him a longshot on a team that requires athletic offensive linemen. Maybe there’s something they saw on tape?

86. Jordan McCray, OL

Veteran offensive lineman who has never appeared in a game. We see these guys every year and every year they don’t last.

85. James Vaughters, LB

Veteran who bounced around with the Packers, Patriots and Chargers, with stops in the CFL. Likely just a camp body.

84. Jameer Thurman, LB

After entering the NFL as a 194-pound linebacker, Thurman bulked up to 230. Was a standout in the CFL, but he’s unlikely to do anything in the NFL.

83. Daryl Banfield, DL

Tested out as a decent athlete at the FBS combine, running a 5.15 40-yard dash with a  33-inch vertical and a 115-inch broad jump. But he had hardly any production at Brown, finishing last season with 25 tackles — 12 of which were solo — and zero sacks. Had just 3.5 sacks in his collegiate career.

82. Jesper Horsted, TE

A wide receiver at Princeton who isn’t athletic enough to play there in the NFL. My guess is he is going to red shirt this year as the team tries to bulk him up.

81. Jonathon Mincy, DB

Spent the last two seasons in the CFL where he was productive. Was previously with the Atlanta Falcons and played college ball at Auburn.

80. Jordan Williams-Lambert, WR

A big target (six-three, 228), who spent last year in the CFL, catching 62 passes for Saskatchewan. Was also previously with New Orleans, but there’s no way he’s making the roster.

79. Ellis Richardson, TE

Only caught 19 passes in college, but ran a 4.5-flat 40 at 235 pounds. Was a quarterback coming out of high school. He’ll have a hard time making the roster, but certainly worth a look.

78. Marquez Tucker, OL

UDFA from Southern Utah. Good size (6’4″, 300) and had a good shuttle time (one of the top predictors of NFL success for offensive linemen) at 4.63. Worth a look.

77. Sam Mustipher, OL

Linemen from Notre Dame usually have a decent shot, especially since his collegiate position coach must’ve signed off on this.

76. Thomas Ives, WR

At six-four, 217 pounds, Ives tested as a freak athlete (98th percentile per 3SigmaAthlete.com), but did hardly anything in college at Colgate, catching 15 passes last year and 23 the year before.

75. Jonathan Harris, DL

A UDFA from Lindenwood. Hometown guy from Aurora, Ill., who was productive in college with 11.5 TFLs and six sacks last year. That came against a low level of competition, but he has solid athletic traits.

74. Josh Simmons, DB

Listed at six-foot-three, 205 pounds, he had 15 career interceptions at Limestone College, a Division Two school. A good enough athlete to make it, possible special teams player to start his career.

73. Joe Lowery, OL

An undrafted tackle from Ohio who was an All-MAC selection the least two years, helping block for one of the best rushing attacks in college football.

72. Matt Betts, Edge

The Canadian sensation. A really good athlete, although he looks quite small on the field. A pretty big step up in competition, but a possible practice squad candidate.

71. Ian Bunting, TE

When Mark Helfrich was asked during the Bears 100 celebration which UDFA had impressed him the most, Bunting was his answer. At six-foot-seven, 250 pounds, Bunting is kind of a weird athlete because he ran a 4.93 40-yard dash, but had a 35-inch vertical. Possible red zone threat, but he didn’t catch a single touchdown in college (played at Michigan and Cal) and managed just 18 catches last year before entering the draft. Worth keeping an eye on.

70. Chuck Harris, Edge

Can a team ever have too many edge players from Buffalo? Probably. But Harris has a solid collegiate career, totaling 14.5 TFLs and 10.5 sacks the last two years. He’s a decent enough athlete, that he has a shot to stick.

69. Jalen Dalton, DL

Looks the part at six-six, 285 pounds and is a good athlete, running a 4.81 40-yard dash at the North Carolina Pro Day. Played in 16 games the last two seasons, totaling 16.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, but he wasn’t drafted and wasn’t even a priority free agent. Didn’t sign with the Bears until after rookie camp. Dealt with injuries in college, but could be a diamond in the rough.

68. Doyin Jibowu, DB

Explosive athlete with 41.5-inch vertical, the six-one safety from Fort Hays State University had nine interceptions and 35 passes defensed in college. Also had two kicks returned for touchdowns.

67. Clifton Duck, DB

An undrafted free agent out of Applachian State, Duck showed crazy ball skills as a freshman and sophomore totaling 11 interceptions. Had just one last year, though. There were questions about his speed before the draft, but he ran a 4.5-flat at his pro day. Likely projects as a slot corner in the NFL.

66. Abdullah Anderson, DL

Spent all of last season on the practice squad and is back for another shot at the roster this year. 2017 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, blocked four kicks in college.

65. Josh Woods, LB

Woods was very low on this list last year (89th) because he was a 205-pound linebacker. He’s still listed at 205, but the training camp snapshots released by the team tell you he’s much bigger.

64. John Franklin III, CB

Another player who made it through camp last year after showing flashes during the preseason. A great athlete who will battle for a roster spot.

63. Ryan Nall, RB

Nall became a fan favorite, but I never really got it. He has gotten first-team reps during the offseason — likely because the newcomers are learning the offense. Hard to see him making the cut again this year.

62. Michael Joseph CB

Freak athlete who made it through 2018 with the team, Joseph showed great ball skills at the small school level, this will be a make-it-or-break-it camp for him.

61. Alex Bars, OL

Many have said he would’ve been drafted if not for a knee injury. If anybody knows if he can make it it’s Harry.

60. Taquan Mizzell, WR

Mizzell’s struggles are well-documented. Worth noting that Matt Nagy apparently seemed to like him, but he was wrong. A position switch might be best for Mizzell, but he’s highly unlikely to make the team.

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