Mock Lineup

The Bears have already added two starters in free agency and expect to add at least one through the draft. Here's a look at what the lineup might look like when the '05 campaign kicks off.

While the Bears are trying to sign a veteran quarterback as an insurance policy, the hope is the team won't have to cash it in, meaning Rex Grossman stays healthy.

GM Jerry Angelo is doing his best to put talent around Grossman to give him a better chance to succeed. The addition of Muhsin Muhammad boosted one of the worst receiving groups in the NFL.

Fred Miller solidifies the offensive line by allowing John Tait to move to left tackle.

Although there has been a lot of talk of taking a running back with the fourth pick, another wideout would make more sense because Thomas Jones is a serviceable starter.

Behind Muhammad there are a lot of question marks. Can Justin Gage do more than catch jump balls? Is Bobby Wade anything more than a third receiver? Is Bernard Berrian ready to become a starter in his second year?

The running back depth in the draft would allow the Bears to go with one in the second round. However, in this particular case we believe the team could go with Stanford tight end Alex Smith with the 39th overall selection. He played in a west coast offense and has the ability to beat out incumbent Desmond Clark, who had just 22 receptions last season.

Terrence Metcalf is currently atop the depth chart at left guard, but Qasim Mitchell will get an opportunity to compete with him in training camp. Mitchell originally came into the league as a guard, so the transition back could be the best thing for him at this point.

The Bears will likely get their choice between Braylon Edwards and Mike Williams. Edwards is ranked among most draft boards as the top receiver because of a combination of size and speed. Williams had a decent forty time (4.59) at the combine for his six-foot-5 frame and could move up if he has a stellar pro day.

The June 1st cut day will have significance for the Bears this year because it will more than likely bring the end of Rex Tucker's time in Chicago. R.W. McQuarters could also be on the chopping block because of a $4.25 million cap value for next season.

Freeing up additional cap space will allow the Bears to explore options at strong side linebacker, if they are not addressed in the draft, and possibly adding a veteran placekicker to challenge Paul Edinger.

Projected 2005 starting lineup considering free agency and potential draft choices.
QB Rex Grossman
RB Thomas Jones
FB Bryan Johnson
WR Muhsin Muhammad
WR Braylon Edwards
TE Alex Smith
LT John Tait
LG Ruben Brown
C Olin Kreutz
RG Qasim Mitchell
RT Fred Miller
3WR Bernard Berrian

RE Alex Brown
DT Ian Scott
DT Tommie Harris
LE Adewale Ogunleye
SLB Hunter Hillenmeyer *
MLB Brian Urlacher
WLB Lance Briggs
CB Charles Tillman
CB Jerry Azumah
FS Mike Brown
SS Mike Green
NB Nathan Vasher

KR Jerry Azumah
PR Nathan Vasher
P Brad Maynard *
K Paul Edinger
LS Patrick Mannelly

* Likely to be unseated by the start of the season.

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