This is the meat of the rosters, players who should see the field quite a bit.
39. Nick Kwiatkoski, LB
Can really be a liability against the pass, but he has good instincts and is a solid special teams player. The Bears could live with him playing on first and second downs if needed.
38. Jonathan Bullard, DL
Has never even approached his potential, but hasn’t been awful either. Holds his own and you occasionally see his burst but not consistent enough to play on a deep defensive line.
37. Chase Daniel, QB
Great for the locker room and he showed last year the Bears can win with him. He’s not capable of being a starter, but the Bears have had a lot of starting quarterbacks who were worse than Daniel.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Never a truer, sadder statement.]
36. Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB
Played some special teams last year, but the hope is he can beat out Kwik this year. Didn’t have to play with much discipline in college so the NFL was a big jump. Now it’s time to see if he can play.
35. Ben Braunecker, TE
Solid special teams player who can hold his own as a blocker. Has never come close to touching his athletic potential, but the Bears liked him enough to bring him back and not bring in serious competition.
34. Sherrick McManis, DB
Special teams star who showed he can play a little at corner last year. The Bears obviously didn’t feel strongly that McManis could repeat his defensive performance, but he remains one of the best special teamers in the league.
33. Ted Larsen, OL
We’ve read this book before. You can get away with Larsen for a limited number of snaps. He’s probably better than Eric Kush, but not by much.
32. Aaron Lynch, Edge
Started strong last year, but then started getting injured, which is the story of his career. Bears actually got him for cheaper this year than last year.
31. Adam Shaheen, TE
A make-or-break year for the tight end. Shaheen has some very good traits, but has never put it all together. Too slow to be a move tight end, but has the potential to threaten defenses as an in-line tight end.
30. Mike Davis, RB
Part of the reason I was surprised the Bears drafted David Montgomery is because I thought Davis looked good with Seattle. A former mid-round pick who is tough to bring down. He’ll make Montgomery earn the starting job.
29. Riley Ridley, WR
It’s hard not to hear the raves about the fourth-round pick, known as a smooth route runner who can win physical battles. An early-camp injury, might be enough to prevent him from breaking a tough lineup.
28. Deon Bush, S
Has proven to be capable when called upon but has trouble staying available.
27. Javon Wims, WR
Seemed to make plays every time he stepped on the field last year. Doesn’t have great speed or athletic traits, but he’s physical and has shown good hands.
26. Bilal Nichols, DL
Stole a starting job last year and seemed to make at least one play in the backfield every week. Needed to get stronger this off-season to be able to stack blockers, but there’s a ton of potential.
25. David Montgomery, RB
Might be the player the Bears most targeted this off-season. Super quick player who has good contact balance and, most importantly, allows the Bears to utilize every play in the playbook.
24. Cordarrelle Patterson, RB/WR/KR
We already know what kind of kick returner Patterson is, but the Bears think he can be so much more than that. Nagy has brought Patterson up unprompted on multiple occasions. He can’t wait to use his new toy, who he says will play the “Trojan” position.
23. Roy Robertson-Harris, DL
One of the best pass rushers on the team who should’ve gotten more snaps last year. RRH’s run defense isn’t great, but his pass rush more than makes up for it.
22. Buster Skrine, DB
PFF will tell you Skrine isn’t good, but the Bears targeted him in free agency a few years ago and again last year. Nagy specifically called him out as one of the best slot corners in the league. I don’t know if he’s that good, but he should be more than fine.
21. Trey Burton, TE
Slowed down last year after a fast start, but Burton is an important player to the team. He can’t be covered by a linebacker, which means opponents have to use a DB on him and let linebackers cover either a receiver or a running back. Burton isn’t great, but he is a reliable option for Trubisky who puts up a good fight in the run game too.
20. Bobbie Massie, OT
After a few tough games to start his Bears career, fans turned on Massie, but he’s been above average since then. He’ll struggle against speed rushers at times, but he holds his own most of the time.
19. James Daniels, C
Still a bit of an unknown. We saw flashes of greatness last year as a 20-year-old rookie out of position, but he struggled against power. He’s a year older and moving to his more natural position so we could see a huge jump up.
18. HaHa Clinton-Dix, S
Packers fans will tell you he’s awful, but he isn’t. HHCD is a ball hawk who should benefit greatly from playing with an improved pass rush and better players all around him. His play dropped when the talent around him dropped. That won’t be an issue for the Bears.
17. Leonard Floyd, Edge
The Bears hope Floyd can break through as a pass rusher, but even if he doesn’t he can be a valuable player. Floyd’s ability to drop in coverage will allow the Bears and Chuck Pagano to be creative. If he improves as a pass rusher, he’ll skyrocket up this list.
16. Prince Amukamara, CB
Was the team’s best corner two years ago and remains a solid starter, but had some issues with penalties last year with a career-worst eight accepted penalties against him. Older player with a history of injuries, but the Bears should be able to get at least one more good year out of him.
15. Taylor Gabriel, WR
Kind of a surprise as the team’s WR leader in receptions. His speed is crucial to the offense because opponents always have to be aware of him.
14. Anthony Miller, WR
Early in camp there have been some concerns about his mental lapses, which we saw plenty of last year. In order to earn this ranking, Miller needs to limit those. That said, Alshon Jeffery had the same issue, but talent wins out at the end of the day. Miller could’ve had a great rookie year if only Mitch Trubisky hit him on a couple of more wide open deep passes. The sky is the limit.
13. Charles Leno, LT
Just a really solid left tackle. He’ll struggle against some of the better pass rushers, but holds his own almost every week. An athletic player who has worked his way to being one of the better tackles in the league.
12. Eddie Goldman, DL
Just when you think Big Ed is going to just take up space, he breaks through the line for a sack. A really dominant run defender who demands double teams, allowing others to make plays. He’ll never get 10 sacks, but he’ll allow others to excel.
11. Mitch Trubisky, QB
There’s a chance Mitch breaks through and gets higher on this list, but the deep accuracy has to get better and he has to become more consistent. Still, Trubisky was at least an average passer last year and one of the best running quarterbacks in the league. This is the year when we’ll find out what kind of player Trubisky is. He has MVP-level talent, but early reports have indicated he is still struggling with his deep ball.