Chicago Bears 53-man roster projection: Post 2023 NFL draft
Now that the Chicago Bears have put the 2023 NFL draft in the rearview mirror the road ahead involves getting the roster from 90 down to 53. Of course, we have months until that is actually going to happen, but with the roster set for the time being it may be a good time to look at the overall landscape.
Chicago Bears 53-man roster projection
Quarterback (2): Justin Fields, PJ Walker
This should be locked in. Tyson Bagent is such a project that he can easily get to the practice squad, and we know that Nathan Peterman could as well.
Running back (5): Khalil Herbert, D'onta Foreman, Travis Homer, Roschon Johnson, Khari Blasingame
This was a tough decision, and mainly because the tight end room was so thin, I kept five running backs. The key is that Roschon Johnson and Travis Homer are both good blockers and special teams' assets, adding to their roster value.
Wide receiver (6): DJ Moore, Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool, Tyler Scott, Velus Jones, Equanimeous St. Brown
The Chicago Bears may be hoping that Velus Jones can return punts this season because Dante Pettis should be on the chopping block with the addition of Tyler Scott.
Tight end (3): Cole Kmet, Robert Tonyan, Jake Tonges
As noted, the tight end room is this. There is 2022 UDFA Chase Allen and 2023 UDFA Damien Caffrey, but if it comes down to those two, or a fifth running back, they may go with the extra back.
Offensive Line (9): Braxton Jones, Teven Jenkins, Cody Whitehair, Nate Davis, Darnell Wright, Lucas Patrick, Larry Borom, Ja'Tyre Carter, Alex Leatherwood
The top five appear locked in, and with questions about the health of Cody Whitehair moving forward, they are keeping Lucas Patrick, for sure. Ja'Tyre Carter makes it as one of the few depth linemen with guard ability, and then Larry Borom and Alex Leatherwood bring the depth at tackle. Deiter Eiselen is the name to watch and could unseat Carter or Leatherwood.
Interior Defensive Line (5): Justin Jones, Gervon Dexter, Zacch Pickens, Andrew Billings, Travis Bell
You can complain about the team drafting three interior defensive linemen, but when you look at the roster, it was absolutely still a need at every pick. Each pick makes the roster with ease, who is even competing with them? They not only needed starting-level talent but depth as well.
Edge Rusher (4): DeMarcus Walker, Trevis Gipson, Dominique Robinson, Rasheem Green
The issue fans have with the draft is the lack of edge rusher help. They clearly like Green and Walker more than fans, as they signed them in free agency, and it is fair that Robinson and Gipson have some room to improve. Still, this may be a spot where a fifth name gets added before August.
Linebacker (6): Tremaine Edmunds, TJ Edwards, Jack Sanborn, Noah Sewell, Sterling Weatherfod, Demarqius Gates
This is the most loaded room on the roster. The top four are locks, the question is Weatherford, Gates, or Dylan Cole. I went with the two younger names who could stick around longer.
Cornerback (6): Jaylon Johnson, Kyler Gordon, Tyrique Stevenson, Terrell Smith, Josh Blackwell, Kindle Vildor
The question here will come down to Kindle Vildor. With Blackwell as a backup slot, he is essentially competing with Terrell Smith for the number four or six spot. Jaylon Jones, a rookie last season showed well at times, and if he looks good, they may just end the Vildor experiment altogether.
Safety (4): Eddie Jackson, Jaquan Brisker, Elijah Hicks, AJ Thomas
The Chicago Bears drafted Kendall Williamson, but there is always a draft pick or two who do not make it. A.J. Thomas is his prime competiton, and while he was a UDFA last year, he stuck around will provide legitimate competition.
Specialists (3): Trenton Gill, Cairo Santos, Patrick Scales