Predicting the Final Roster, Part I

The Chicago Bears can bring 80 players to training camp in Bourbonnais camp next month, but only 53 can make the final roster. So who will be left on the cutting room floor? Bear Report takes a closer look at the offense and makes our best guess as to who we'll see line up against Indianapolis in Week 1.

QUARTERBACK (3)
Locked and Loaded:
Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, Caleb Hanie

Cutting Room Floor: Nick Hill

Analysis: We still don't know who will emerge as the winner in the QB competition, but both Grossman and Orton will be on the roster no matter what. Hanie is clearly much better than Hill and has the inside track for No. 3 duties, unless the front office decides at the 11th hour to bring in another veteran signal-caller. If that does indeed happen, look for Hanie to stick around on the practice squad.

RUNNING BACK (3)
Locked and Loaded:
Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, Garrett Wolfe

Cutting Room Floor: P.J. Pope, Matt Lawrence

Analysis: With Cedric Benson now in the rearview mirror, second-round draft pick Forte looks to be the featured back in this offense. Peterson is still a valuable asset on special teams even if his tailback skills leave a little to be desired, and Wolfe can be a weapon on third down if utilized properly. Lawrence is a good bet to make the practice squad since running backs get hurt so often in this league.

FULLBACK (2)
Locked and Loaded:
Jason McKie, Lousaka Polite

Cutting Room Floor: J.D. Runnels

Analysis: McKie is not an elite player at his position, but he's an adequate blocker in the running game and a solid receiver out of the backfield. Polite played sparingly this past season, although he's probably a better bet to make the team than Runnels at this point. Runnels missed all of last year with an injury and has always been more of a finesse player than a bruiser.

WIDE RECEIVER (6)
Locked and Loaded:
Marty Booker, Brandon Lloyd, Mark Bradley, Devin Hester, Rashied Davis, Earl Bennett

Cutting Room Floor: Mike Hass, Brandon Rideau, Marcus Monk

Analysis: Receivers coach Darryl Drake admitted Wednesday that he has no idea who his starters will ultimately be, but the triumvirate of Booker, Lloyd, and Hester are the leading contenders. Bradley will be in the mix if he ever gets healthy, Davis looks stronger and faster since last season, and third-rounder Earl Bennett should get a shot here and there. It would be ideal to place Monk on the practice squad for a year, although another team might swoop in and grab him.

TIGHT END (3)
Locked and Loaded:
Desmond Clark, Greg Olsen, Kellen Davis

Cutting Room Floor: Fontel Mines, Marcus Stone

Analysis: This appears to be the only position of strength on offense right now, as the combination of Clark and Olsen was pretty good last year and should only get better this year. Davis needs to become a more consistent blocker if he wants to replace John Gilmore as a short-yardage and goal-line option, but he's got the kind of size to do it. While Mines can catch the ball, he's not strong enough to move people around in the trenches.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8)
Locked and Loaded:
Olin Kreutz, Roberto Garza, Terrence Metcalf, John Tait, Chris Williams, John St. Clair, Josh Beekman, Chester Adams

Cutting Room Floor: Anthony Oakley, Tyler Reed, Kirk Barton, Cody Balogh, Ryan Poles

Analysis: The starting unit appears to be set, with Kreutz at center, Metcalf at left guard, Garza at right guard, Williams the rookie at left tackle, and Tait at right tackle. St. Clair's value is as an emergency swing guy as opposed to a starter, and both Beekman and Adams can play a few positions if necessary. While keeping Oakley makes little sense, Barton looks to be destined for the practice squad.

To read Part II of this story and see who JC thinks will make the final 53-man roster on defense, Click Here.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


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