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2019 53 Man Roster Fight

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And as you say knowing and understanding all of that can take a lot of time, money, and research none of which I have an abundance of to commit to all of what coaches and personnel guys do for a living and other because they write blogs or publish draft guides or get jobs as talking heads.

So I have to learn what I can about it at whatever level I can more from reading and intuitively by watching videos or games.  It's all I've got.

I never played much football but I played a ton of baseball growing up and 12 years of very competitive AA and AAA level men's fastpitch softball.  From that experience I could tell a lot about who had natural talent and for what positions and who were the overachievers and how to play them.

Some of that ability can be converted to other sports but not all.  So mine is still only an experienced amateurs perspective.

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14 hours ago, WindyCity said:

Emmaneul Hall seems like the ideal IR stash.

Could just as easily be Wims for much the same reason. If we have 7 healthy WR at the end of the preseason that we like and we can find a reason for one to be “hurt” for 8 weeks or more then especially with the contracts for Gabriel and Robinson having outs after 2019 it only makes sense for us to do what we can to hold onto all of them. 

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1 hour ago, AZBearsFan said:

Could just as easily be Wims for much the same reason. If we have 7 healthy WR at the end of the preseason that we like and we can find a reason for one to be “hurt” for 8 weeks or more then especially with the contracts for Gabriel and Robinson having outs after 2019 it only makes sense for us to do what we can to hold onto all of them. 

From a cap perspective no doubt Pace and Laine are looking at those two and $21.5 mil in combined cap cost in 2020 and the possibility of replacing at least one of them.  Gabriel turns 29 and will probably be replaced.  ARob I'd be less sure of.  I don't see Wims as his equal and I don't see us spending higher draft picks on a WR now that we have this group.

Pace has done a nice job of filling out the WR room with combinations of size, good possession guys, and speed.  Now he needs to keep that in balance going forward so Mitch always as enough targets to keep the passing offense humming.  It's that and Mitch's progress that will dictate how far we can get in the regular season and the playoffs.

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Interesting notes for camp to keep in mind:

  • Whyte is battling for a return spot over one of greatest KO returners in history in Patterson and one of current best punt returners in Cohen.  Though they may not want to risk Cohen on PRs.  Plus guy we got from Atlanta whose name escapes me right now.  
  • Bars has a lot of buzz as an Online prospect.
  • Will anyone distinguish themselves amongst Fitts, Irving, and Betts?  I think Lynch is what he is now.  Fitts and Irving?  Irving seems to play better, Lynch was first off bench last year, but Fitts seems most talented of every OLB past Floyd.  Can the Canadian play?
  • Hall is described as an early round prospect on field that nobody wants because of what's between his ears.  They said same about Tolliver.  Never know what will happen.
  • Can Wims and Tolliver continue to impress and take next step in development?  They were surprise players last year.  They seem to succeed with every opportunity given.  
  • Our two late round CB prospects are David and Goliath and are two fascinating prospects..

 

 

 

 

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5 undrafted free agents most likely to make Bears roster

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the 2019 NFL Draft, Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace indicated the team would be quite active signing undrafted free agents (UDFA) once the draft concluded and boy, was he right. The Bears have agreed to terms with 21 prospects who went undrafted.

Pace has found a few diamonds in the rough over the years, including WR Cameron Merideth, DE Roy Robertson-Harris, CBs Bryce Callahan and Kevin Tolliver, and LB John Timu. And with 21 UDFAs in the fold, fans can expect a few will make the 53-man roster once the regular season starts.

Here are five UDFAs that have the best chance of making the Bears active roster.

WR Emanuel Hall, Missouri

Hall is by far the most intriguing UDFA the Bears signed. A senior from Mizzou, Hall was expected to be picked as high as the second round but fell when concerns arose regarding his medicals and his attitude, according to NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein. Hall only played nine games in 2018 due to injuries but has blazing speed and the ability to take the top off a defense averaging 20.8 yards per catch during his collegiate career. Hall will likely battle Javon Wims and Marvin Hall for the final WR spot. Both Halls possess pure speed, something the Bears lacked in 2018. But with Emanuel’s potential and fierce determination following his fall, I’ll bet on the rookie to make the roster.

TE Dax Raymond, Utah State

Outside of running back, tight end was considered the Bears biggest need on the offensive side of the ball and while the draft board fell a certain way, Pace was still able to find an effective weapon following the draft in Dax Raymond. Listed as 6-5, 255 pounds, Raymond had a productive final two seasons at Utah State, catching 68 passes for 801 yards and three touchdowns. He has a good first step off of the line and slips off tacklers, gaining more yards after contact. However, he may need to bulk up to handle NFL linebackers.

Still, the backup tight end spot may be up for grabs, as Adam Shaheen has struggled to make an impact when healthy and Ben Braunecker primarily plays special teams. It’s also interesting to note that, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, Raymond is making the most money of all the UDFAs that have been reported.

 

K John Baron II, San Diego State

We can simply say he’s a kicker and leave it at that, but Baron showed quite a bit while at San Diego State. He hit 17 of 22 field goals in 2018, good for 80 percent, and going 5-for-5 from 50 yards or more with a long of 54. Baron will have competition beginning at rookie minicamp through OTAs and training camp, but Baron was the only rookie kicker signed to a deal while the others were just invited to participate in camp.

He’s also competing against recent signings Redford Jones, Chris Blewitt, and Elliott Fry, none of which have NFL kicking experience. The door is wide open for Baron to win the kicking job and bring stability to the position for the first time in four seasons.

G Alex Bars, Notre Dame

The Bears added Bars and his linemate Sam Mustipher, both interior linemen who played under Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand. It’s likely only one will make the active roster, and even though Bars is still recovering from a torn ACL from last September, he grades out as the better lineman and the better bet to make the 53 man roster.

Bars is a 6-6, 312-pound guard who has played all over the line while at Notre Dame, most recently at left guard after taking over for Quenton Nelson. He can effectively block downfield and pulls with ease to create open lanes for runners. Bars’ flexibility could offer value as a backup lineman and his familiarity with Hiestand only improves his case. And keep in mind, Bars is the Bears’ second-highest paid UDFA, according to Brad Biggs.

DE Chuck Harris, Buffalo

From one great Buffalo edge rusher to another? While Chuck Harris is no Khalil Mack, he had a nice senior season for the Bulls, finishing with 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 11 games and shows raw potential to develop into a force on the edge. Harris has the athleticism and intelligence to compete at the NFL level and will push OLB and 2018 sixth-round pick Kylie Fitts for a spot on the roster.

While the numbers certainly aren’t eye-popping, Harris is still coming into his own and, depending on his development with defensive line coach Jay Rodgers, he may become a key contributor for the Bears down the road.

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Projecting rookie roles for the Chicago Bears 2019 Draft class

ByMatt Eurich 3 hours ago
 
 

The dust has finally settled and the Chicago Bears have their 2019 NFL Draft class in place. Now the important part for the organization will be finding roles for all five of its draft selections. Without a first- or second-round pick, Chicago did not make its first selection until the third round. The Bears followed that up with a selection both the fourth and sixth round before capping off the draft with two seventh-round selections.

Offseason workouts and training camp loom ahead for this rookie class and we have taken a look at both the ceiling and floor expectations for each draft picks in 2019.

David Montgomery

Ceiling: Day One Starter

This is the best-case scenario and the biggest hope for Montgomery. Chicago moved up 14 spots in the third round in order to select him. What makes him a candidate to be a starter on Day One is that he is a powerful runner between the tackles, has upside as a pass-catcher out of the backfield and has great vision. Those are all traits that both head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace brought up when talking about him after the draft concluded.

Montgomery was a workhorse at Iowa State the last two seasons and is in line to be that at the NFL level. 

Floor: Rotational Back

Being a rotational back is also very much a possibility for Montgomery to begin his Bears career. For as much as the team has fawned over the Iowa State back since his selection, both Nagy and Pace have talked about the other players on the roster at the position. Tarik Cohen is a special talent at the position who can be moved all around the field. Chicago also acted quickly to sign Mike Davis to a two-year deal this offseason before trading away Jordan Howard.

Being a rotational back would not be a bad thing for Montgomery, but it would limit his ability to make a major impact in his first season.

Calvin Ridley

Ceiling: Rotational Wideout

The ceiling for Ridley is not quite as high as it is for Montgomery. What we do know is that Chicago feels very good about where it selected Ridley. Many had him pegged to go as high as the second round and the Bears were able to draft him in the fourth round. The issue for him from the get-go will be all the depth at the wide receiver position. Chicago sits with a wide receiver room that is headlined by Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Taylor Gabriel and Cordarrelle Patterson.

It could be tough sledding for him to be anything more than just a rotational wideout who gets occasional reps to begin his career.

Floor: Special Teams Contributor

Since Ridley is being pegged as a "steal" in this year's draft there is no chance he would ever be able to get stashed away on the practice squad. The big challenge for him with this roster will be proving he can play special teams. At the very worst, Ridley will be expected to be a contributor on Sundays in that department—if he is active. 

Duke Shelley

Ceiling: Backup Nickelback

Pace noted during his press conference after the draft that the team has had its eye on Shelley for some time.

"A guy I feel like we've been talking about internally for a long time," Pace said about Shelley. "A little bit undersized. Extremely athletic. Really twitchy. Good ball skills. A guy we've liked for a long time internally and excited to get him at that point."

Shelley played primarily on the outside during his time at Kansas State but projects best on the interior at the nickelback position. It seems unlikely he will be gunning for the job as a rookie after the team signed Buster Skrine this offseason. Skrine is someone the team appears very high on in terms of his ability to take over the vacancy at nickelback left by the departure of Bryce Callahan.

Shelley has a chance to learn behind a veteran like Skrine and could potentially find himself on the field in Chicago's dime package if he plays well during the offseason.

Floor: Special Teams Contributor

Because of a veteran being ahead of him on the depth chart, Shelley could have a hard time earning much playing time on defense. That will relegate him to being a special teams contributor. There is always a chance he ends up on the practice squad, but the team seems excited enough about his potential to not risk losing him if he is demoted.

Kerrith Whyte

Ceiling: Return Man

It will be tough sledding for Whyte to find a big role on offense as a rookie. With Montgomery, Davis and Cohen ahead of him on the depth chart, Whyte will have to earn his keep on special teams.

He returned a total of 70 kickoffs during his final three years at Florida Atlantic. He gained 1,854 yards on those returns and brought two back for touchdowns. He returned 39 kickoffs for 1,002 yards before returning 23 kickoffs for 568 yards with one touchdown in 2017. He only returned eight kickoffs in 2018 but gained 257 yards on those returns with one return touchdown.

The biggest issue for him is that the Bears added an All-Pro kick returner to the roster in Cordarrelle Patterson this offseason.

Floor: Practice Squad

Not only will Whyte be competing with Patterson for the opportunity to return kicks, wide receiver Marvin Hall also has experience as a returner. Whyte does stand a good chance at making the roster in the role that was once held by Taquan Mizzell a year ago, but it also would not be a surprise to see him land on the practice squad with the hopes of developing him for the future.

Stephen Denmark

Ceiling: Inactive on Gamedays

Denmark is a project. The Valdosta State began his collegiate career as a wide receiver before moving over to cornerback. He is still learning the ins and outs of the cornerback position. He was productive during his run at the position with the school, but he still has a long ways to go.

Denmark's freakish attributes are likely what led to Chicago using a draft pick on him instead of hoping to snag him as an undrafted free agent. Those impressive traits may make him a risk to get swiped off the practice squad if he lands there.

Floor: Practice Squad

A year on the practice squad could be a good thing for someone like Denmark. He still has a lot to learn about the position and a run on the practice squad could help get him ready to fight for a roster spot in 2020. 

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Trubisky....Daniel

Montgomery....Cohen....Davis....Whyte Jr

Robinson II....Ridley....Wims....E.Hall

Miller....Gabriel....Patterson 

Burton....Shaheen....Braunecker....Raymond

Leno Jr....Sowell

Daniels

Whitehair

Long....Larsen

Massie....Coward 

= 25

 

Hicks....Bullard

Goldman

Nichols....RRH

Mack....Irving

Roquan....Iggy

Trevathan....Kwiatkoski 

Floyd....Lynch....Fitts

Jackson....Bush

HHCD....DHC....Denmark 

Fuller....Toliver....McManis

Amukumara....Skrine....Shelley

=25

 

Baron....O’Donnell....Scales

=3

TOTAL= 53

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I just hope the Bears keep 3 QBs. Doing otherwise is just plain stupid--even though I know it's now the "cool" thing to do...

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31 minutes ago, Heinz D. said:

I just hope the Bears keep 3 QBs. Doing otherwise is just plain stupid--even though I know it's now the "cool" thing to do...

why? they spent a majority of the season with only 2 and only had 3 on the roster after Tru got banged up. I would much rather have a Hall/Bars/Shelley/Denmark/Raymond than Bray. However, this is why I wanted to grab a QB in the late round as someone we could stash on the PS. surprised we didn't sign an UDFA.

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Trubisky....Daniel

Montgomery....Cohen....Davis....Whyte Jr

Robinson II....Ridley....Wims....E.Hall

Miller....Gabriel....Patterson 

Burton....Shaheen....Braunecker....Raymond

Leno Jr....Sowell

Daniels

Whitehair

Long....Bars

Massie....Coward 

= 25

 

Hicks....Bullard

Goldman

Nichols....RRH

Mack....Irving

Roquan....Iggy

Trevathan....Kwiatkoski 

Floyd....Lynch....Fitts

Jackson....Bush

HHCD....DHC....Denmark 

Fuller....Toliver....McManis

Amukumara....Skrine....Shelley

=25

 

Whoever....O’Donnell....Scales

=3

TOTAL= 53

 

Roster reflects Pace keeping some guys he might not think he can get through waivers, but would like to keep for development reasons or to replace expensive vets. Additionally, while the roster looks good now, offseason/preseason injuries are a VERY real thing, and this is highly subject to change.

Gameday Inactives

Hall, Wims, Denmark, Whyte, Fitts, Raymond, Shelley

These guys could spend the year developing and eventually replace guys such as McMannis, Gabriel, Long, Braunecker, Patterson

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2 hours ago, soulman said:

Projecting rookie roles for the Chicago Bears 2019 Draft class

snipping the rest of the article for brevity's sake...

He had a pretty good writeup... I'd disagree on three spots, however...

1.  Ridley isn't going to be a ST guy, he's going to be a rotational guy/primary backup, similar to Miller for us last year. His ceiling is going to mirror Miller's last year where he might eventually work his way into starting by the end of the year, but it otherwise a primary backup.

2. Shelly. IMO isn't going to be the backup Nickel... Skrine and McMannis will have that locked down already, but with McMannis potentially also backing up the outside when needed.  Shelly is PROBABLY a depth backup that isn't even active until someone gets hurt.

4. Whyte.... As a RB fan, this pick actually has me way more intrigued than the others.... I only see him going to the PS if he's awful in preseason/Training camp and we run light on RBs... I think it's more likely he comes in as the #4 rostered RB, and possibly inactive weekly unless he shows up on ST for more than returns. That said, this kid is going to be one of the most athletic players on the entire team and could very well outplay many or even all of the people ahead of him on the RB depth chart.... especially when you consider he's likely showing up against backups.... E. Hall runs the DB's off, and it leaves Whyte a 4.36 speed runner against Kwiatoski, a LB with known speed/coverage issues, for example. That's an easy recipe to look VERY dominant over the summer, and I won't be at all surprised if he finds a way to earn himself a spot in the rotation by the fall... I don't think the coaches would consider benching Davis for him, even if he does show Davis up, but I could easily see him getting something like 5 plays a game, particularly to try and exploit some kind of speed-mismatch with some other guys around (like Cohen and Patterson).

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1 hour ago, HuskieBear said:

why? they spent a majority of the season with only 2 and only had 3 on the roster after Tru got banged up. I would much rather have a Hall/Bars/Shelley/Denmark/Raymond than Bray. However, this is why I wanted to grab a QB in the late round as someone we could stash on the PS. surprised we didn't sign an UDFA.

Why? Because to do so otherwise is foolish, even though it is now common "wisdom" around the league. It creates a "starter goes down, season is over" dynamic that is not only stupid, but is harmful to the entire league. 

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4 hours ago, Epyon said:

snipping the rest of the article for brevity's sake...

He had a pretty good writeup... I'd disagree on three spots, however...

1.  Ridley isn't going to be a ST guy, he's going to be a rotational guy/primary backup, similar to Miller for us last year. His ceiling is going to mirror Miller's last year where he might eventually work his way into starting by the end of the year, but it otherwise a primary backup.

2. Shelly. IMO isn't going to be the backup Nickel... Skrine and McMannis will have that locked down already, but with McMannis potentially also backing up the outside when needed.  Shelly is PROBABLY a depth backup that isn't even active until someone gets hurt.

4. Whyte.... As a RB fan, this pick actually has me way more intrigued than the others.... I only see him going to the PS if he's awful in preseason/Training camp and we run light on RBs... I think it's more likely he comes in as the #4 rostered RB, and possibly inactive weekly unless he shows up on ST for more than returns. That said, this kid is going to be one of the most athletic players on the entire team and could very well outplay many or even all of the people ahead of him on the RB depth chart.... especially when you consider he's likely showing up against backups.... E. Hall runs the DB's off, and it leaves Whyte a 4.36 speed runner against Kwiatoski, a LB with known speed/coverage issues, for example. That's an easy recipe to look VERY dominant over the summer, and I won't be at all surprised if he finds a way to earn himself a spot in the rotation by the fall... I don't think the coaches would consider benching Davis for him, even if he does show Davis up, but I could easily see him getting something like 5 plays a game, particularly to try and exploit some kind of speed-mismatch with some other guys around (like Cohen and Patterson).

Ridley:  Understand ST work is his floor and in his case it's a high floor.  But I tend to see it as you do.  I think we'll have others doing ST duty and as Ridley progresses Nagy will work him into the passing game most likely as a backup to both Miller and ARob.  He's such a good route runner I don't think he'll struggle with picking up both the "X" and "Z" positions pretty quickly.

Shelley:  He's a kid I'm gonna be very interested in hearing about in camp and watching in preseason.  At K-State he stuck to receivers like gum on a shoe but can he repeat that at this level.  If he's all that and a bag of chips Pagano will probably use him as a "Dime" back and as a backup both at "Nickel" and at CB and he plays coverage teams.  That way he stays active each week.

Our ST units were poor last year so assuming McManis makes the cut we went him back on coverage teams 100% of the time if possible and signing Skrine makes that possible.  Let's hope Skrine can stay healthy so McManis snaps on defense are more limited but with as high as they are on Shelley you have to figure he'll be challenging McManis from day one of camp.  This likely McManis' final year.

Whyte:  I don't think there's any question he'll be on ST coverage because that's what most backup RBs do.  Like Ridley it's likely Nagy will work him into the offense and his game plans more as he discovers what he does best and can trust him as a ball carrier and a receiver.  He's gonna be competing primarily with Cohen and Patterson for touches and Nagy already knows what they're capable of and he can trust them.

I'm thinking we're gonna see a lot of him in preseason but far less once the regular season begins except on ST.  He has the size, the speed, and the physical nature needed so IMHO it's kind of a given otherwise how to you justify having him on the 53 man roster and active on game days vs sticking him on the PS unless he does play ST.  I think his value on offense will come as another "Joker" back and a kid who can be a deep threat lined up in the slot.  When he's on the field someone has to account for him and as a receiver he could see some real mismatches based on his speed.

 

It's gonna be an interesting summer.  With so few roster spots open and many younger vets already on the roster competition is gonna be fierce which is all the better.  Steel sharpens steel.  No doubt we're gonna see the best 53 man roster we've seen in a decade or more and for the first time in awhile we'll see some talented young players cut and vets released.  I'm about as excited about this Bears team as I've been since the '80s.

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15 hours ago, Heinz D. said:

Why? Because to do so otherwise is foolish, even though it is now common "wisdom" around the league. It creates a "starter goes down, season is over" dynamic that is not only stupid, but is harmful to the entire league. 

so your reason to have a 3rd QB on the roster is in case the starter gets hurt the season isn't over? How is having a QB on the PS that doesn't take a roster spot, but is on the team any different?

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4 hours ago, HuskieBear said:

so your reason to have a 3rd QB on the roster is in case the starter gets hurt the season isn't over? How is having a QB on the PS that doesn't take a roster spot, but is on the team any different?

Reps. Coaching. Knowledge of the team, and the offense. Everybody conveniently forgets teams always kept 3 QBs until Belichick decided he wanted that last roster spot for special teams...

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