It is pretty remarkable to see what Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles has done with this team over the course of his first two offseasons with the team.
While we're all eagerly awaiting the true Justin Fields breakout in 2023, it's all of the moves made around Fields which Poles had executed in order for that breakout to happen. The roster is full of guys who weren't here two years ago, let alone even last year.
As we get toward the end of the roster, though, there are going to be some battles during training camp. Come Week 1, a few particular players will surprise and end up making the roster. Others, though, won't be so lucky. Let's look at a few of those fringe players who may or may not make the final roster.
Chase Allen will make the Bears roster
This one will come as the biggest surprise, but last year's undrafted rookie tight end Chase Allen, out of Iowa State, will make the Bears' final roster, and here's why.
Veteran running back Travis Homer was brought in for a variety of reasons, one of them being special teams and another being that he is a fantastic pass blocker. Instead of using a roster spot on Jake Tonges, the Bears could easily use Homer in two-back sets as a blocker.
That way, a guy like Allen can be used as a receiver, just as he was in college a couple of years ago. Allen has the raw tools to be a nice receiving tight end, although he might not get a ton of opportunity. Still, there are certain sets, especially around the goal line, where Allen's skill set might come into play.
A young, 6-foot-7, receiving tight end seems a bit more valuable to a team like the Bears, looking to equip Fields with weapons, than a blocking back that could be replaced with a do-it-all type in Homer. Protecting Fields is absolutely important, which is again why Homer can help fill that type of role if needed. But, giving Fields another weapon like Allen should be priority.