Chicago Bears: Complete 53-Man Roster Predictions

9 of 12

Aug 22, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen (83) blocks Chicago Bears linebacker Jared Allen (69) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Outside Linebackers (6): Pernell McPhee, Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Sam Acho, David Bass and Willie Young

While Young is probably on the roster bubble, I think the Bears try to find a way to keep all of their pass rushers. The newly acquired McPhee is going to be one starter at outside linebacker, and his play will be huge in determining the Bears’ defensive success this season.

McPhee joins the Bears after playing an extremely successful, but limited role in the Baltimore Ravens’ 3-4 defense. His obvious ability at the outside linebacker position will be huge for this team, but he could fill in at other positions at times if needed as well. McPhee can be the best player on this defense, and his play will go a long way in determining their success.

Oct 26, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) is sacked by Chicago Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston (99) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots won 51-23. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Allen has been listed as the starter at the other outside linebacker position throughout the preseason. He obviously has an incredible pass rushing pedigree, and his transition to the 3-4 outside linebacker position has gone pretty well. Allen will have a more limited role than McPhee, but he is a capable starter at the position.

Houston and Acho will be the primary back-ups I would imagine, with both looking to push Allen for that starting job. Houston is a talented player, who has also taken to the position change very well. It will be interesting to see what he can give the Bears this season. Acho is an established 3-4 OLB who gives the team stability at the position if needed. Acho is also going to be a huge special teams contributor.

Bass is the prime breakout candidate from the group. He has an obvious set of pass rushing skills that appear to be perfect for a 3-4 outside linebacker. The Bears have the depth to put Bass in a position to succeed, and I think he has the skills to get the job done.

Coming off of a 10 sack season, the transition from 4-3 DE to 3-4 OLB has not gone as well for Young. He still shows that talent and upside, but he simply does not look comfortable a majority of the time. He could certainly find himself cut, and would undoubtedly land with a 4-3 team, but I think the Bears will try hard to keep him around to use in a pass rushing specialist kind of role.

Perhaps we could even see some four man fronts with Young and Allen playing their natural defensive end positions? I wouldn’t necessarily count on that, but with so many pass rushing options, the Bears would be wise to consider everything.

Next: Cornerbacks