Training camp has wrapped up, and the Bears have moved on to the latter portion of preseason, with joint practices against the Indianapolis Colts this week before their game.
The Bears continue to make moves at the backend of the roster, trying to find the right fits for the team.
This begs the question: what is the best-case, most realistic scenario for the Chicago Bears this season at each position group?
Here’s a rundown, plus putting what each position group can top out at this season in a realistic best-case scenario.
QB // Top 5
Justin Fields takes the leap from fun but flawed QB to elite MVP candidate, just as Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen have before him when they went into their third season, second in a scheme and first with a real WR1. He remains a top 3 rushing QB in the league but doesn’t have to run for a thousand yards again.
He ends around 700 yards and throws for 4000 yards and is responsible for at least 35 touchdowns. An MVP season like Lamar Jackson’s in 2019 is the best-case scenario.
RB // Top 20
Khalil Herbert improves his blocking and catching enough so the Bears can take advantage of a guy who averaged over five yards per carry last season. D’Onta Foreman provides solid short-yardage and goalline ability.
Roschon Johnson develops into a great thunder complement to Herbert’s lightning and can be a weapon out of the backfield. Travis Homer provides good special teams ability.
WR // Top 10
DJ Moore gets back to pre-2022 form, where he was a top 15, borderline top 10 receiver in the league. He eclipses 1200 yards and 10 touchdowns easily, being Fields’ go-to guy. Darnell Mooney continues to have great chemistry with Justin Fields en route to another 1000-yard season. Chase Claypool is relieved of pressure being the WR3 and takes advantage of his size in matchups against worse corners.
Tyler Scott provides some big plays as a deep ball threat. Velus Jones Jr provides some ability on trick plays and special teams. Equanimous St. Brown is a great guy to have in jumbo sets.
TE // Top 10
Cole Kmet rewards the Bears on his new extension, being a security blanket for Fields, who catches 3-4 balls a game for 40-50 yards per game. He continues to be an elite blocker. Robert Tonyan provides a reason for the Bears to run 2TE sets as another weapon in the passing game.
Mercedes Lewis helps out the young tackles as an extra blocker and veteran presence.
OL // Top 16
Braxton Jones builds off his solid rookie campaign, where he was a PFF all-rookie. Darnell Wright shows why he was the second O-Lineman drafted in 2023. Teven Jenkins and Nate Davis combine to be a pro-bowl-level duo at guard. Cody Whitehair won’t reach the level he once was, but can be a smart veteran center to help Fields out.
The interior backup OL is very sturdy with Lucas Patrick and Ja’Tyre Carter; though backup tackle is a concern, there is at least experience between Larry Borom and Alex Leatherwood.
DE // Top 25
Yannick Ngakoue hits double-digit sacks again and mainly plays on passing downs. DeMarcus Walker provides good run-stopping ability as a converted DT playing on the edge.
Trevis Gipson and Dominique Robinson begin showing their potential as young DEs with pass-rushing chops. Rasheem Green and Terell Lewis are fine rotational options.
DT // Top 25
Gervon Dexter, Zacch Pickens, and Travis Bell are less raw than expected and make noise immediately. Andrew Billings helps stuff the run as an NT.
Justin Jones continues to be the Bears’ defensive captain and plays all downs.
LB // Top 5
Tremaine Edmunds continues to excel at the MIKE after breaking out last season, with a ton of splash plays that Bears fans were used to seeing from Roquan Smith. TJ Edwards provides steady, consistent play at the WILL.
Jack Sanborn builds off a strong rookie campaign at the SAM position. Noah Sewell shows he dropped too far in the draft with big plays off the bench rushing the passer. Mykal Walker and Dylan Cole are solid backups and special teamers.
CB // Top 10
Jaylon Johnson ascends to shutdown corner status, shadowing WR1s across the field and doing a better job on crossers and in the slot. Kyler Gordon builds off a strong December and January and becomes a very good slot CB.
Tyrique Stevenson plays with physicality and tenaciousness at the other boundary CB spot, being pushed by fellow rookie Terell Smith. Kindle Vildor, Jaylon Jones, and Josh Blackwell are solid backup CBs and special teamers.
S // Top 5
Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker have the potential to be as potent as the 2018 Bears safety duo of Jackson and Adrian Amos and the best in the league. Jackson, as FS, is a ballhawk like Earl Thomas, and Brisker, at SS, is a hard hitter and blitzer like Kam Chancellor.
Elijah Hicks, Adrian Colbert, Kendall Williamson, and AJ Thomas provide depth and special teams ability.
ST // Top 10
Cairo Santos bounces back from a down 2022 and gets back to 2020 and 2021 form, missing no extra points and being perfect inside 40. Trenton Gill does a better job on net yardage.