This is the position group with the most turnover from 2013. The only holdovers on my list to make the squad are Paea, Collins, Ratliff, Bass and Washington . The new free agents and draft picks will all make the team. Izzy Idonije could struggle to make this team. In my mind, it’s between Izzy, Bass and Washington for two spots. I think Emery gives the nod to youth and “his guys” over Izzy.
This ought to be the most interesting group to watch during camp. Only Lance Briggs is assured a spot as WLB. DJ Williams figures to sew up the Mike spot, if he can stay healthy. Bostic and McClellin will battle for starting Sam-backer and you’d better believe that Shea will be given every opportunity to win that job. Khaseem Greene will have his hands full to hold off Jerry Franklin, Jordan Senn and other newcomers to earn a roster spot. Special teams will play heavily in this decision.
I know a lot of people want to see Conte gone, but I’ve got Chris Conte slated for the PUP list. This might be a maneuver to give the Bears time to figure out if any of the new safeties can be an everyday contributor. Mundy will be expected to start; then it’s between Jennings and Vereen to start alongside him.
The top three are locks. I think Frey beats out Kelvin Hayden for the 4th corner. Demontre Hurst becomes the 2014 version of Frey and develops into a contributor after spending the 2013 season on the practice squad.
You don’t draft a punter unless he’s going to start. Nice knowing you Tress Way and Drew Butler. Gould is automatic. We’re not ready to say good bye, so even though he’s not on the roster today, Patrick Mannelly will be your long snapper.
What do you think? Any surprises? Consult the full 90-man roster and post your thoughts.