5 Players Who Might Find Themselves on the Chicago Bears' Practice Squad in 2014
The practice squad is a special and key component in the NFL. It allows a team to still hang on to a player they like and allows the player to develop in the system without taking up a valuable roster spot.
A player on the practice squad is still able to make a decent living and work on his game against real NFL talent. It's a win-win situation for both parties.
There will be some pretty contested battles in training camp for the Bears this year. Wide receiver, running back and linebacker are areas with big question marks at the bottom of the depth chart.
Who are the prime candidates to make this year's practice squad? Click ahead as we give you the five best options.
WR/KR Chris Williams
Former CFL standout Chris Williams is an outstanding return man. In 2012, he set a CFL record with six return touchdowns to go along with 1,117 punt return yards.
Williams' return skills will put him in the hunt for a roster spot, but his receiving skills and size could land him on the practice squad.
At 5'8", 175 pounds, Williams doesn't fit the Bears' new style of larger receivers. He also isn't a polished enough receiver in the NFL to give the Bears any meaningful contributions on offense.
It would be like having Devin Hester on the roster all over again, and the Bears might not be prepared to go down that road in the immediate future.
There are other players who can contribute to the team and still return kicks. Michael Ford, Eric Weems and Kyle Fuller are just a few names.
The best for Williams might be to stick with the practice squad while he hones his route-running and receiving skills. Any injuries or subpar results in the return game could catapult Williams to the active roster at any point in the season.
LB Christian Jones
Christian Jones will be a successful linebacker in the NFL. He has just too much talent and freakish athleticism to not make it eventually.
It could come really close when the final cuts happen near the end of training camp. The problem for Jones on this team is the fact that there are so many linebackers ahead of him.
Think about forgotten names like Khaseem Greene, Jordan Senn and Jerry Franklin, who seem to be lost in all the talk about Shea McClellin, Jon Bostic, Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams.
Greene, Senn and Franklin all have more experience than Jones in special teams, and if Jones wants a roster spot, it will have to be there.
It will be an uphill climb to make it for Jones, and it's likely going to have to start on the practice squad. That's still good news for an undrafted rookie who was virtually written off by most of the league after a failed drug test.
RB Senorise Perry
Keep an eye out for Senorise Perry once training camp starts. The former Louisville running back isn't anything flashy, but he does a ton of things that help a football team.
Perry is a hard runner who is a solid receiver out of the backfield and can contribute on special teams. A torn ACL slowed him down in college, but he's healthy now and looking to make a name for himself.
When you look at Perry, you see a lot of former Bears running back Adrian Peterson. It was an eight-season run for Peterson with the Bears as he contributed in a variety of different ways.
It will be nearly impossible for Perry to beat out the other running backs in front of him, but he could latch on to the practice squad. As he gains more confidence and earns the trust of the coaches, he could be in line for a roster spot in 2015.
OT Cody Booth
Cody Booth had only one year of collegiate experience at left tackle. He was once a tight end who led the Temple Owls in touchdown receptions in 2012.
Booth does have great footwork and the size needed to play offensive line in the NFL. What he's lacking is the experience and technique.
The Bears won't want to take up a valuable reserve spot with Booth, but they could stash him on the practice squad while he develops. His ability to play either tight end or tackle could come in handy down the line.
Practicing against NFL talent every day will make Booth a stronger candidate to make the 53-man roster in 2015.
RB Jordan Lynch
Everybody has Jordan Lynch fever, but can the buzz around him transfer into a roster spot? It's going to be tough for a quarterback to change positions in the NFL and be asked to make valuable contributions on special teams.
Yes, Lynch rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and had 23 rushing touchdowns for Northern Illinois last year, but we all still have to be realistic about what type of player he will be.
The Heisman finalist can be a successful back in this league, but it's going to take some time. He has to learn protection schemes, read defenses and figure out how to stop a kick and punt return man all at once.
The Bears might like Lynch but probably not enough to give him an active roster spot on a team contending for a division crown. He is a prime practice squad candidate but will have some stiff competition from the aforementioned Senorise Perry.
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