Chicago Bears Insider: A Way Too Early Look at the Bears Offensive Depth Chart
The 2011 NFL Draft has brought some new talent to the Bears now, and there are sure to be some changes to the active roster heading into the new season. With no free agency and no way to sign players whose contracts have expired (like Anthony Adams and Nick Roach), we can only guess as to how the Bear’s depth chart is going to look next season.
Taking into account the roster that the Bears currently have and those draft picks that they picked up in the draft, let’s take a way too early look at the potential Bears depth chart heading into the 2011 season.
Note: Players are listed in the order that they would be listed on the depth chart.
Running Back: Matt Forte, Chester Taylor, Khalil Bell, Harvey Unga
Out: Garrett Wolfe
Forte will be the Bears starter once again next season, but will Chicago decide to keep Chester Taylor around for another year? His first year with the Bears was admittedly difficult, but the Bears could still use him on offense. Bell and Unga should be able to make the roster, while Wolfe, who is no longer under contract, hasn’t proved anything and will probably be let go.
Fullbacks: Brandon Manumaleuna
Out: Desmond Clark
Both Manumaleuna and Clark play the tight end position as well, but technically, this team uses the H-back position. Clark doesn’t appear to be a candidate to be back next season while Manumaleuna, despite a poor showing last year, will be around next year for use as an extra blocker and another tight end.
Wide Receivers: Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett, Rashied Davis, Andy Fantuz
Out: Devin Aromashodu, Onrea Jones
You can bet that the Bears are going to try to bring in some additional help at the wide receiver position, but with their hands tied in free agency, if the NFL reverts back to the final eight rule, things could get difficult. The quality of those receivers that may come out is not going to be that great, but even if the Bears can find one player to help enhance this group, then things could be a lot better for them on offense.
Tight End: Greg Olsen, Kellen Davis, Brandon Manumaleuna
Out: Desmond Clark
You can expect the Bears to keep three tight ends on the roster for next season, and they may try to look at some undrafted free agent tight ends to see if anyone could step in and play well. Clark, who has shown signs of age in the recent past, will not be brought back for another season with the Bears.
Hopefully Manumaleuna will be able to improve upon the blocking skills that the Bears had hoped that he would have and help the offense perform much better in 2011. Olsen should be able to stand out and play well as long as the Bears use him properly, while Davis is quietly becoming one of the more steady backups on the team.
Offensive Tackle: Gabe Carimi, Frank Omiyale, J’Marcus Webb, Levi Horn
The Bears are going to need all of the help that they can get at the offensive tackle position this year, so expect them to keep those players that they already have listed on the roster. Both Carimi and Webb will be the starters while the other two will provide backup.
If there is an injury, though, it’s going to be rough on position and there is sure to be trouble. Maybe the Bears will choose to try to bring in some additional talent at the position, but for now, they will have to stick with these guys.
Guards: Roberto Garza, Chris Williams, Roberto Garza, Lance Louis
Out: Johan Asiata, Hermann Johnson
If the Bears decide to keep four guards, then those four guards listed above should be the ones that they keep. It would be interesting to see Johnson get a solid shot at making the roster because his size would be a big asset, but his mechanics need a lot of work. Garza will be the starter at one of the guard positions while converted tackle Williams will be the starter at the other. This position could use an upgrade but it doesn’t look like that will happen this year.
Center: Olin Kreutz, Edwin Williams
The Bears will have to bring Kreutz back for at least one more season, but they could start working Williams into the lineup if they feel he is the future center on the team. This is going to be an important year for the offensive line, and it’s going to be difficult to do an “experimentation” at the center position, so Kreutz will probably start the entire season, barring any kind of injury. The Bears may decide to retain Williams as a backup at the guard position.