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Breaking down the Bears’ roster after the draft, signings

The Chicago Bears General Manager Phil Emery head coach Lovie Smith introduce their first round NFL draft pick Boise State

The Chicago Bears General Manager Phil Emery and head coach Lovie Smith introduce their first round NFL draft pick, Boise State linebacker/defensive end Shea McClellin with the 19th pick in the first round, at Halas Hall on Friday, March 27, 2012 in Lake Forest. | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times

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Updated: April 30, 2012 12:16PM



After signing 11 undrafted free agents, the Bears roster currently stands at 83 players.

The new maximum is 90 players.

Bears general manager Phil Emery said Saturday he didn’t feel it necessary to get to 90, just to get to 90.

Here’s a look at where the roster currently stands:

QUARTERBACKS (4): Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell, Josh McCown, Nathan Enderle.

Comment: Bears look pretty set at this position.

RUNNING BACKS (7): Matt Forte, Michael Bush, Kahlil Bell, Armando Allen, Tyler Clutts, Harvey Unga and Alvester Alexander.

Comment: Some question marks here, with Forte not having signed his franchise tender, and Phil Emery casting some doubt about the need of a true fullback after drafting Evan Rodriguez. That, of course, would affect Clutts. For now, the Bears seem set at the position.

WIDE RECEIVERS (11): Brandon Marshall, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Alshon Jeffery, Devin Thomas, Eric Weems, Johnny Knox, Dane Sanzenbacher, Terriun Crump, Brittan Golden, Chris Summers.

Comment: Bears are heavy at this position. But, the Bears seem to be taking every precaution that Knox may not be ready to start the season or miss it all together. Sanzenbacher will have a huge uphill battle to make the roster, after stepping in and playing quite a bit as an undrafted rookie free agent last season.

TIGHT ENDS (6): Kellen Davis, Evan Rodriguez, Matt Spaeth, Kyle Adams, Draylen Ross, Andre Smith.

Comment: Pick a flavor, any flavor. Spaeth is a traditional blocking tight end, Davis is more of the pass catching one, and Rodriguez will be a hybrid.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (14): Gabe Carimi, J’Marcus Webb, Roberto Garza, Chris Spencer, Lance Louis, Edwin Williams, Chilo Rachal, Chris Williams, Ricky Henry, James Brown, A.J. Greene, Mansfield Wrotto, Levi Horn, Reggie Stephens.

Comment: Well, it’s about quantity right now. Quality? Everyone will have to wait and see. The Bears could add another player, but they seem pretty insistent that they believe in the top of their order.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (11): Julius Peppers, Henry Melton, Israel Idonije, Stephen Paea, Matt Toeaina, Shea McClellin, Corey Wootton, Chauncey Davis, Thaddeus Gibson, Jordan Miller.

Comment: I could see the Bears adding one more defensive tackle, just to mix things up. Anthony Adams and Aubrayo Franklin are among the players available.

LINEBACKERS (11): Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Nick Roach, Geno Hayes, J.T. Thomas, Blake Costanzo, Dom DeCicco, Jabara Williams, Adrien Cole, Ronnie Thornton, Patrick Trahan.

Comment: There’s no shortage of sheer numbers. The addition of Hayes gives the Bears a veteran they needed. DeCicco flashed some things, and the Bears certainly are open to having a young player like Thomas or Trahan show something. Costanzo, really, has to be viewed as a special teamer only. If the right veteran is available, the Bears could make a move. Let’s not forget they worked out a handful of them, including Rocky McIntosh.

CORNERBACKS (8): Charles Tillman, D.J. Moore, Tim Jennings, Kelvin Hayden, Greg McCoy, Donovan Warren, Isaiah Frey, Jonathan Wilhite.

Comment: Can’t imagine a chance at this position. I personally thought they should have made cornerback a priority in one of the first three rounds. But, they added two late. There’s not much out there, on the proverbial street.

SAFETIES (8): Chris Conte, Major Wright, Craig Steltz, Brian Hardin, Winston Venable, Anthony Walters, Jeremy Jones, Trevor Coston.

Comment: Not much experience but there’s been a lot invested in the position, with three third-rounders. Conte and Wright start out, with every opportunity to secure the starting spots. Steltz will be there to push them (more likely Wright), and they’ll watch with curiosity to see how quickly Hardin flashes something. Don’t forget that coach Lovie Smith isn’t afraid to mix it up at this position and let young players get some snaps.



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