Will find out in week one when the Bears take on the Detroit Lions.
Who will be on the opening day roster you might ask. I will predict the 53 man roster, tell you who will make the team, who won’t make the team, and who might surprise some people this year.
1) Jay Cutler- Clearly the number one quarterback
2) Caleb Hanie- He is working hard to make a week one return, if he can’t Todd Collins will make the team.
Todd Collins- At age 38 he might not have much left in the tank. With the Bears signing him and giving him an $100,000 signing bonus that lets them decide easier. He is no guarantee to make the roster.
Dan LeFevour- The sixth round pick has shown why he is a project, expect for the Bears to put him on the practice squad.
3) Matt Forte- Forte looks rejuvenated and ready to go, I hope he plays well because I have him on my fantasy team. In all honesty, he looks healthy and destined for a good season.
4) Chester Taylor- Taylor is one of the best backups in the NFL and he will be pair very well with Matt Forte.
5) Kahlil Bell- Bell showed last season that he has potential, but he has been disappointing to say the least this preseason.
Garrett Wolfe- Wolfe has dissapointed since he landed in the Windy City, he surprisngly has turned into a solid special teams player, but with the talk of him being traded expect him to be on another team this season.
6) Devin Hester- In Mike Martz’s offense, Hester is destined to have a breakout year. He was doing really well last season until he suffered an injury. Expect him to be a real weapon in his third full season as a wide receiver.
7) Johnny Knox- This guy is a real player. No one thought a fifth round pick from Abilene Christian could do what he did last season. One of the fastest players in the NFL, Knox should really thrive in Mike Martz’s passing attack.
8) Devin Aromashodu- He didn’t really get his shot until the end of the season because of an injury he suffered during week one. Cutler loves D.A. because he is such a big target, watch out for him to be a go to guy in the redzone.
9) Rashied Davis- The veteran receiver didn’t get much playing time last season. He has thrived this training camp, he could be used a lot more than last season. He just needs to improve his catching because he has caught a lot of catchable balls in the past.
10) Earl Bennett- Bennett has been hit with the injury bug this training camp, so he is out of sync with the offense. He is a very consistent receiver, so he should get into the mix once he recovers.
11) Juaquin Iglesias- Does anyone really know what this guy can do? A third round pick last season, Iglesias is trying to earn playing time, he scored a touchdown last week against Arizona, but will he make the team. I think he will, with Mike Martz running the offense, I’m pretty sure he would like to carry a sixth receiver.
Greg Matthews- A big receiver out of Michigan could find a spot on the practice squad.
Freddie Barnes- A fast receiver out of Bowling Green could land on the practice squad.
12) Greg Olsen- The fourth year tight end is very talented, expect him to do well even though analysts expect him to disappear in the Mike Martz led offense.
13) Brandon Manumaleuna- Manumaleuna, considered the best blocking tight end in the NFL, is basically another offensive lineman out there.
14) Desmond Clark- The 33 year old is probably not going to be back in Chicago next season, but if he can stay healthy he could still have a couple more seasons with another team in the NFL.
15) Kellen Davis- A big kid with lots of potential, should get some looks in red-zone plays.
Richard Angulo- The veteran spent time with offensive line coach Mike Tice in Jacksonville, but its a numbers game and Angulo doesn’t have the numbers on his side.
16) Chris Williams- He needs to protect Cutler pretty well this season in order for this offense to be successful
17) Roberto Garza- The veteran makes the move to left guard, but he should be fine because he has been pretty steady for the Bears
18) Olin Kreutz- Still one of the elite centers, Kreutz is a real leader in the locker room and on the field.
19) Lance Louis- He played TE at San Diego State and was used as a tackle in training camp last season, but now he will be the starter at right guard for the Bears. The microscope will be on him all season.
20) Frank Omiyale- Frank the “Tank” makes the transition back to his natural position at right tackle. He didn’t get the job done last season at left guard, so putting him back in his comfortable spot should make him a solid player, hopefully.
21, 22, 23) Josh Beekman, Kevin Shaffer, J’Marcus Webb should all be solid backups at their offensive line positions.
Johan Asiasta, James Marten, Levi Horn, and Tim Walter- The Bears are expected to keep two offensive linemen on the practice squad, expect Asiasta and Marten to get those spots.
24) Julius Peppers- Obviously this guy is the starter on the right side of the defensive line, but he will be used on the left side as well. I’m looking for big things out of this guy.
25) Mark Anderson- Listed as the starter at right defensive end spot, should get hits on the quarterback like he was used to doing during his rookie season in 2006.
26) Israel Idonije- Idonije should get his playing time in the rotation, he is a beast on special teams and he could even be used at defensive tackle.
27, 28, 29) Corey Wootton, Henry Melton, Jarron Gilbert- Wootton should get his shot because he is so athletic and he is healthy again. Melton can play both defensive end and defensive tackle, so he should be a solid option of the bench. Gilbert hasn’t been healthy this training camp and he isn’t in great standing with GM Jerry Angelo, but his draft status should help him snag a spot on the team.
Barry Turner- An undrafted rookie from Nebraska could take up a spot on the practice squad.
30) Tommie Harris- He was surgery free this off-season and has looked like his old self. With Peppers on the line with him that could open him up for more pressure on the quarterback.
31) Anthony Adams- He has always been a solid undersized nose tackle. Expect the same out of him this season.
32) Matt Toeaina- He has drawn rave reviews from Bears coaches this training camp, he has sat on the bench for the last two seasons and it seems he might finally get the shot he deserves.
33) Marcus Harrison- A former third round pick by the Bears, Harrison has been given a shot to shine, but hasn’t done much with that. He is still in the rotation, but he won’t be in the starting lineup very much this season.
Mick Williams- An undersized rookie out of Pittsburgh might land a spot on the practice squad.
34) Brian Urlacher- Having #54 back is nice, but will he be the same Pro Bowl type player, hopefully. He looks to be in the best shape of his life, if he can’t be steady this defense won’t be very good.
35) Lance Briggs- Always a solid player, he quietly had one of his best seasons last year without Urlacher on the field. Ryan Matthews trucking during the first game of preseason worried me, but he knows he is better than that.
36) Pisa Tinoisamoa- Injuries are a big problem for Pisa, but if he can stay this line-backing could be the best in the NFL and one of the best ever in Chicago.
37) Hunter Hillenmeyer- A great backup to Brian Urlacher, expect him to be solid on special teams as well.
38) Nick Roach- He was in the race for the starting job against Pisa, but hurt his knee. He should be back for week one, but not starting instead being used on special teams.
39) Brian Iwuh- A nice backup in Jacksonville, will be the same here in Chicago.
40) Tim Shaw- One of the best special teams players in the NFL, should be even better this season for coach Toub.
Kevin Malast, Kelvin Smith- Malast spent last season on the practice squad and the Bears would like to put him there again. Smith was clearly just a camp body.
41) Zack Bowman- Has been moved to the right side to cover the number one receivers and looks to be ready for another big year.
42) Charles Tillman- Looks to be healthy, Peanut should expect a big year on the left side.
43) Corey Graham- The starting nickelback as of now, but he is being challenged by second year man D.J. Moore.
44) D.J. Moore- See Graham, Corey.
45) Josh Moore- Fourth round pick out of Kansas State, is a nice player to have for depth.
46) Tim Jennings- Once was a big part of the Colts defense, now a sixth corner for the Bears, he isn’t a lock to make the team.
Cornelius Brown and Woodny Turrene- Brown has looked solid returning kicks this preseason, but not so much in pass coverage. Turenne spent last season on the practice squad, but Brown could challenge him for that spot. I think it will be between the two for that spot.
47) Chris Harris- He seems glad to be back and the Bears are happy he is a starter once again. Look for big things from #46.
48) Danieal Manning- Has been bumped around in the secondary, if he disappoints at safety look for the Bears to put him back at nickel-back where he played pretty well last season.
49) Major Wright- The Bears are high on the third round pick out of Florida, he has the biggest shot of taking Daniel Manning’s starting spot.
50) Craig Steltz- He has played sparingly in his time with the Bears and he seems to be a nice bench player.
Josh Bullocks, Al Afalava, Aaron Webster, Quentin Scott- Bullocks has the best shot of these four of snagging a spot on the roster, but he will likely be on the bad end of the numbers game. Afalava has been awful this preseason, kind of like he was last season. Lastly, Webster and Scott seem to be nothing more than camp bodies.
51) Robbie Gould- The starting kicker once again.
52) Brad Maynard- The starting punter once again.
53) Pat Mannelly- The starting long snapper once again.
The Bears must go from 75 players to 53 players this Saturday. That means they have to cut 22 players. Tomorrow night’s game against the Browns for those players who are on the fringe.
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