Projecting the 2011 Bears Final 53 Man Roster

Heads will be rolling at Halas Hall within the next few days (Photo: Chicago Tribune)

We’re just days away from final cutdowns and with 27 heads set to roll (or 26 if you count Chester Taylor’s head already pre-rolled), there’s still a lot of work to do for the Bears front office.  Let’s see if we can give them a hand and project the final 53-man roster:

Quarterbacks (3): Jay Cutler, Caleb Hanie, Nathan Enderle

No big surprises here.  I’d be shocked if they risked putting Enderle on waivers to try to sneak him onto the practice squad.  Obviously everyone needs to get through Thursday night’s game against the Browns or the could be shopping for a veteran backup.

Running backs (4): Matt Forte, Kahlil Bell, Marion Barber, Eddie Williams

No big surprise that Chester Taylor should be gone.  My only concern is that somehow they decide to keep him around just to cover up their lastest PR debacle on Monday, when they told CT that he was not in their plans and he took that to mean that he was getting released.  I’m also targeting a pure fullback to make the roster because Matt Forte runs better with a lead blocker.  It’s a coin flip between Eddie Williams and Will Ta’ufo’au but since Williams’ name is easier to spell, I’m hoping he makes it.

Wide receivers (6): Roy Williams, Earl Bennett, Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, Sam Hurd, Dane Sanzenbacher

Again, no big surprises here except at the back end.  Hurd gets the nod as a special teams contributor and Mike Martz just thinks Sanzenbacher is dreamy.  Maybe a strong showing on Thursday gets undrafted rookie Kris Adams into the conversation, but it’s more likely that he’s headed to the practice squad.  Thanks for the loaner on Andy Fantuz Canada, you can have him back now.

Tight ends (4): Kellen Davis, Matt Spaeth, Desmond Clark, Kyle Adams

Dez Clark could be a question mark depending on the severity of his knee injury.  Kyle Adams could sneak in as an H-back and special teamer.

Offensive linemen (8): Roberto Garza, Lance Louis, J’Marcus Webb, Chris Williams, Gabe Carimi, Chris Spencer, Edwin Williams, Frank Omiyale

The starting 5 have been set since the second week of camp, so don’t expect any changes there.  Chris Spencer is a lock as backup center and guard and Omiyale makes it on the merits of his jack of all trades, master of none versatility.  Edwin Williams makes it in the last spot.

Defensive linemen (9): Anthony Adams, Israel Idonije, Henry Melton, Julius Peppers, Matt Toeaina, Corey Wootton, Stephen Paea, Amobi Okoye, Nick Reed

Really torn between Nick Reed and Mario Addison for the last DE spot.  Actually, I’m hoping they just sign Alex Brown!

Maybe Addison has a chance to make it to the practice squad plus Reed is a former Tim Ruskell draft pick, so we give him the edge to make the final 53.  Former third round selection and perennial fat camper Marcus Harrison gets more free time to roam the north suburban buffets while looking for work.

Linebackers (6): Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher, Nick Roach, Brian Iwuh, J.T. Thomas, Dom DiCicco

The top four are locked in.  The team really likes draft pick J.T. Thomas so he should be safe.  Dom DiCicco might make it but I would still rent rather than buy if I were him.  Once teams cut some veterans, I expect the Bears to bring someone else with a little more experience into that last linebacker spot.

Cornerbacks (6): Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, D.J. Moore, Joshua Moore, Zack Bowman, Corey Graham

Tillman, Jennings, DJ Moore and Corey Graham are locks.  Zack Bowman hasn’t been able to regain his starting job from Tim Jennings, but without any real strong contenders pushing behind them, he and Joshua Moore make the team.  As I noted with the linebackers, if a vet becomes available, don’t be surprised to see one of the bottom end guys to be shown the door.  Undrafted rookie Antereis Bryan could be a candidate for the practice squad.

Safeties (4): Chris Harris,  Major Wright, Craig Steltz, Chris Conte

The Bears go a little thin in the safety area, only keeping four in my projections.  Here’s another area where a veteran free agent might fit the bill.  If any injuries pop up, they could another bottom of the roster guys from a different position group out to add some depth because I’m pretty sure they’re set with these four.

Specialists (3): Robbie Gould, Patrick Mannelly, Adam Podlesh

This is an easy as it gets.  Lock em in, though I’m still waiting for Podlesh to show me something that he does better than Brad Maynard.  I’ve got my eye on him.

What do you think?  Who do I show making the team that you think doesn’t have a chance?  If this is about how the roster shakes out, what are their strengths?  Where are the weaknesses?  Let your voice be heard in the comments.  It’s easy to sign in with your Twitter or Facebook login.  Come on, everybody’s doing it!

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