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The Bears have released the first version of their final 53-man roster earlier today, but most analysts are expecting them to make a few transactions to upgrade the bottom of their roster. The Bears have until 11 AM (CST) tomorrow to add players from the waiver wire and noon to declare their 10-player practice squad.
I already compiled a list of potential targets for the Bears based on yesterday cuts and after the final round of cuts today, I have another list for you. Again, I focused on positions of need for the Bears (OL, DL, S, WR) because I just don’t think they have enough depth or talent at those positions.
NT Josh Chapman, Colts – Was projected to the Colts starting nose tackle this season but was beat out by rookie David Perry. Chapman got off to a slow start this preseason but finished in style with a +5.7 grade over the last two games from Pro Football Focus. The Bears need some depth inside with Ratliff suspended for three games and Goldman dealing with concussion symptoms. Chapman is a bit undersized for a nose (6’1 | 316) but DC Vic Fangio has always preferred quickness over bulk. Last year was the 26-year-old Chapman’s first year as a starter and he finished with a respectable +1.3 grade from PFF before struggling in the playoffs. If I were the Bears, Chapman would be my first waiver claim.
OT Isaiah Battle, Rams – The Rams selected Battle in the 5th round of this year’s supplemental draft but surprisingly released him today in their final cuts. The Rams had one of the worst O-lines in the league last year and a talented young tackle like Battle would seem to be a solid building block. Battle has the size and athleticism to play on the left side in the NFL and the Bears don’t have any promising young tackles on their roster right now. The Bears should be thinking about rebuilding their core talent and a high-upside player at a premier position like Battle is a good start.
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WR Duron Carter, Colts – The son of Hall-of-Famer Chris Carter, who was a priority free agent after a solid season in the CFL last year (75, 1030, 7). Carter has ideal size for a WR (6’5 | 205), 4.54 speed, and his upside has been compared to Rueben Randle, Martavis Bryant, and even Alshon Jeffrey. Carter has all the tools to be a successful NFL receiver, but there are questions about his route running ability and maturity level. He failed to make the Colts, but they have one of the deepest receiver cores in the league and Carter’s upside is significantly greater than the two receivers at the bottom of the Bears roster (Bellamy, Meredith).
S Pierre Warren, Saints – An undrafted free agent who fell out of the draft last year due more to off-field issues than lack of talent but started the final five games of the season for the Saints and held his own (-1.3 grade from PFF). Warren had a big game against the Bears last year with 2 INTs and 2 pass defenses. He has the size to be a factor against the run (6’2 | 200) but struggled making tackles as a rookie. Warren was surprisingly solid in pass coverage (+2.7) and has the potential to develop into a useful safety.