Before the start of preseason, who are the most likely candidates for the 53-man roster?
The wait is finally over. The Chicago Bears are going to start reporting for camp and the chase to make the 53-man roster is officially on. With that in mind, we will unleash the first official 2018 53-man roster projection. We will probably come back to this at some point and tidy things up as reports and injuries emerge. However, if things break right, this is how the team could play out on paper.
Quarterbacks (3): Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray
This is as standard as a position can be. Three enter, three stays. Bray will never be active on game days, but the team will carry him on the 53-man roster.
Running backs (4): Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, Benny Cunningham, Ryan Nall
Howard, Cohen, and Cunningham are pretty obvious. They are going to make the roster. The potential surprises here are Michael Burton out and Taquan Mizzell out, while Ryan Nall makes the team. Nall can essentially carry the roster spot of both Mizzell and Burton when it comes to his blocking and running. This helps free up a roster spot elsewhere.
Wide Receiver (6): Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Taylor Gabriel, Kevin White, Javon Wims, Bennie Fowler
We quickly tied up that roster spot on a sixth wide receiver. The top four are obviously going to make the roster. From there, it was too tough to cut Javon Wims. His tape says enough and it is a tough bet to think he makes it to the practice squad, with much more notoriety than Tanner Gentry last year. Lastly is Fowler, who wins out a toss up with Josh Bellamy. Still, all three receivers could deserve a spot over Mizzell.
Tight End (4): Adam Shaheen, Trey Burton, Dion Sims, Daniel Brown
Brown is another player who gets the nod over Taquan Mizzell. He can do enough in the Trey Burton role if he were to get hurt. He also provides more on special teams than Mizzell.
Offensive Line (8): Charles Leno, Bobby Massie, Cody Whitehair, Kyle Long, James Daniels, Eric Kush, Bradley Sowell, Jordan Morgan
The first six are rather obvious. Between Sowell, Morgan, Earl Watford, Dejon Allen, and Hroniss Grasu, there are likely two players to make the roster. Sowell and Morgan get the early nod with their deepest ties to the Bears.