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Chicago Bears 2018 Position Battles

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Post time 2019-5-14 15:35:45 | Show all posts |Read mode
Inside linebacker depth already getting tested Once all the inside linebackers are healthy and under contract for the Chicago Bears Eddie Goldman Jerseys Stitched , this position group should be a real strength. But so far at camp, this is the thinnest position group on the roster. So thin, that they had to sign a guy off the street just to be able to practice two deep at the position. Week one against the Packers is still a long way off, so it should all work out, right?Roster LocksRoquan Smith will sign eventually. My guess is by the weekend if not before. If this drags on another week I’ll be concerned, but so far his absence is in the news because the Bears are only one of two teams that have reported to camp.Players only have so much wiggle room when it comes to their contracts, so I don’t fault them for getting everything they can. The Bears are just protecting their interests, but at some point they need to realize getting Smith locked up and at practice is the best thing for the franchise. Fellow rookie Joel Iyiegbuniwe tweaked his shoulder and has been held out for a couple days now. The Bears discovered Danny Trevathan’s hamstring injury on the first day of camp, and we haven’t heard much about it since then. This could very well be them being extra cautious with a player that is a no-doubt-about-it starter. Nick Kwiatkoski has benefited from the extra time with the ones in camp, but his roster spot was never in question. He was even spotted working some at outside linebacker during camp so far Youth Cordarrelle Patterson Jerseys , which would line up with the offseason reports that the Bears were thinking about having him slide into the Christian Jones (ILB/OLB) role. A good bet to make itEvery year of the Vic Fangio era, the Bears opened up with four inside linebackers on the 53-man roster, so if we go off that, then those four I listed as locks will make it awfully hard for a bubble guy to break through. But if one were to make it as a fifth ILB...On the bubble... I think that would be John Timu. I’ve always liked the way Timu plays football. He’s not the most athletic, but his instincts are sound and he’s made himself into a decent special teamer. Josh Woods, who is converting from defensive back, and Ro’Derrick Hoskins, who just signed yesterday, are both trying to impress enough to make the practice squad. EDIT: Depth concerns led the Bears to add Ro’Derrick Hoskins, but he’ll have an uphill climb to the final roster.Bears UDFA breakdown: Kevin Toliver Kurt Warner. James Harrison. Dick “Night Train” Lane. Antonio Gates.Over the years Cordarrelle Patterson Jerseys Stitched , there have been several undrafted free agents who have left indelible marks on the game of football. Despite not being seen as worthy enough of an NFL Draft selection, these players have overcome the odds and have gone on to become successful NFL players.Over the past few weeks, I have looked at 10 of the undrafted free agents that the Chicago Bears signed this offseason to try and determine who stands the best chance of making it to the 53-man roster. We’ve made it to the final player on the list - the No. 1 undrafted free agent - and that player is LSU alumnus Kevin Toliver.BackgroundToliver entered LSU as one of the best high school prospects in the nation. He committed to the Tigers after his sophomore year in 2012, and managed to stand out for the remainder of his high school career. The five-star recruit finished his freshman year in college with 35 tackles, one interception and five pass deflections. Toliver suffered from multiple injuries in 2016 which caused him to only play in six games. He finished up his collegiate career in 2017 with 27 tackles, one sack, one interception, ten passes deflected and a forced fumble. He opted to skip his senior season and declared for the 2018 NFL Draft in early January.Skill setThere are multiple cut-ups of Toliver online, including this one from his outing against Florida last season. One can also look for cut-ups of teammate Donte Jackson and find Toliver on the field, as well.The first thing that stands out about Toliver is his size. At six-foot-two and 192 pounds Youth Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jerseys , he is long, well-proportioned and has a pro-ready frame. His lengthy frame and long arms come in handy when breaking up passes, as he can often reach for passes that most wide receivers can’t grab. He’s a very good athlete for his size, as he has good straight-line speed, closing speed and hip fluidity. Toliver is also a solid tackler who takes good angles to the ball carrier. He’s the type of player whom Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and defensive backs coach Ed Donatell can mold into a contributor.A lot of Toliver’s question marks come from an off-the-field standpoint. Throughout his tenure at LSU, he suffered a rotator cuff injury and a knee injury which affected his play as a freshman and caused him to miss roughly half of his sophomore year. He also was suspended in 2016 for missing team meetings, and his NFL Draft profile states that former coaches have said that his attitude and drive to succeed are both a problem. On the field, his ball skills aren’t very impressive, he can't shed blocks well, and he lacks quickness coming out his breaks Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jerseys Stitched , which can lead to receivers creating separation.Chances of making the 53-man rosterIt really is a testament to how much the Bears have improved over the years that arguably their best undrafted free agent faces an uphill battle to make it onto the 53-man roster.Toliver is a talented prospect who has all of the physical tools to be a very good player at the next level. He isn’t a finished product just yet, and he has a lot of work to do to prove that he can become the player that many believed he could be when he came out of high school. Players like Marcus Cooper and Sherrick McManis will be tough obstacles for Toliver to overcome, and fellow undrafted rookies Michael Joseph and Rashard Fant will surely give him a fight, as well. That said, though, Toliver has the highest ceiling of the bunch, so there is a solid chance that he could end up sneaking onto the 53-man roster come September.Jacob Infante is a Chicago Bears writer at SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron. He is also an NFL Draft writer at USA Today SMG’s Draft Wire. He can be reached through Twitter @jacobinfante24 or emailed at jacobinfante1208@gmail.com.


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