Chicago Bears: Two Players Featured on NFC North’s Top Ten


It is no secret that the Chicago Bears are the least likely team to make a run at the NFC North division crown this season. With a completely new coaching staff and front office on board for this season, 2015 feels like a bit of a transition year. That being said, they are still holding their own when it comes to top talent in the division, at least according to a recent list showcasing the best players in the division.

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Bleacher Report NFL analyst Chris Simms recently put together a list where he ranks the top 10 players in the NFC North. Shared with the public in video form by Simms and Adam Lefkoe, two Bears end up making this top 10 list.

Kicking things off is third-year offensive guard Kyle Long, who comes in at number 10 on this list of top NFC North Players. Simms had some very high praise for Long: “I think one of the best young guards in the game. Him, Zack Martin, they’re fighting for that position.”

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Long has been a Pro Bowl selection in each of his first two NFL seasons. He was a Second-Team All-Pro selection last season, and a very deserving addition to this list. Simms considering him on the same level as Martin is extremely high-praise, as the Dallas Cowboys rookie was a huge part of arguably the best offensive line in the NFL last season, and took home First-Team All-Pro honors as a rookie.

I am a big supporter of Long, and think that he could quickly become the franchise’s best player as we move forward, but even I hesitate to put him on the level of Martin. Huge praise from Simms here, as he is clearly has a lot of belief in Long’s talent up front.

Aug 14, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long (75) during the second quarter of the preseason game at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Joining Long on the list is Bears’ running back Matt Forte, who checks in at number six. Simms calls Forte: “One of the best all-round running backs the game has to offer. Not only catching the ball, but he can still run that rock too.”

More high praise from Simms here as Forte checks in as one of only two running backs to made the list. Aside from quarterback Jay Cutler, Forte is probably the most important player on the Bears’ offense. He is the primary focus of the team in the running game, and is arguably the primary receiver as well. If the Bears are going to be a surprise contender in 2015, Forte will probably be a huge part of that.

His future with the team is certainly in question, but Forte is clearly one of the best Bears’ players on the roster. In fact, at least according to Simms, he is the Bears single best player.

DeAndre Levy, Haloti Ngata and Jordy Nelson are also featured on Simms’ list, sandwiched in between Long and Forte at nine-through-seven respectively. The top five kicks off with Randall Cobb at number five, his teammate Clay Matthews at four, a returning Adrian Peterson at three, Calvin Johnson at two and of course, Aaron Rodgers at number one. Simms and Lefkoe also mention Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford and Bears WR Alshon Jeffery as players who were tough to leave off.

As was to be expected, the Green Bay Packers dominated this list with four total selections, including three in the top five. The Lions checked in next with three selections, then the Bears with their two and the Vikings’ only selection being Peterson.

Considering their expected rebuilding efforts in 2015, I think the Bears showed up nicely on this list. It may not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but considering you need top-end talent to compete, this can certainly be looked at as a good sign.

Next: 10 Most Important Players for Bears in 2015

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