It’s still very early in the off-season programs but based on current barometers, who could the Chicago Bears pinpoint for their practice squad?
David Fales – QB
The signing of Jimmy Clausen wasn’t an accident. Clearly the Bears staff felt there wasn’t enough happening in the backup QB competition with veteran Jordan Palmer and rookie David Fales, so Clausen was brought in. That could signal Fales will be stashed on the practice squad for the coaches to groom for later. Much will depend on how high his value is perceived by other teams.
Jordan Lynch – RB
Head coach Marc Trestman insisted he had a plan for NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch when he insisted he sign with the Chicago Bears. Unfortunately Lynch is having to make a shift to running back, a position he’s never played. Combine that with added special teams responsibility and Lynch is going to have a hard time beating out the field to become the third runner on the roster behind Matt Forte and Ka’Deem Carey. However, his value as an offensive weapon is high and warrants development.
Ryan Groy – OG
Stockpiling offensive linemen is something the Bears have begun to practice, which is why they spent extra money to land Ryan Groy. It should be noted that he stands a good chance of making the roster as a reserve guard, but he will have to beat out veteran James Brown, 7th round pick Charles Leno Jr. and free agent Michael Ola for what is likely one spot. He has the smarts and the size but just not the experience. It may take a year for him to acclimate and the practice squad would help him do that.
DeDe Lattimore – LB
Most Chicago Bears fans would pinpoint fellow undrafted free agent Christian Jones as a better choice here but it’s much more likely that the athletically gifted Jones makes the roster. Meanwhile DeDe Lattimore comes in with solid prospects of his own. While not the athlete Jones is, he’s tough, smart and a leader on the field. Scouts say there is a swagger about him that befits an overachiever. Definitely worth checking out.
Demontre Hurst – CB
Having been bereft of corners at one point, suddenly the Bears have a logjam on their depth chart. With their top three set in Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings and Kyle Fuller the battle begins for the final three spots. Strong hints suggest veteran Kelvin Hayden and special teams ace Sherrick McManis will get two of the slots. That leaves second-year man Demontre Hurst in a race with Isaiah Frey for the last one. Considering Frey has starting experience and played well at times last year, it’s hard seeing Hurst outpacing him unless his special teams value increases. In all likelihood Hurst will spent his second season on the practice squad and attempt to work his way onto the roster.
Marcus Trice – S
The safety competition is wide open for the Chicago Bears defense, so really anybody can make the roster as well as the practice squad. That is why it’s important to keep a sharp eye on Marcus Trice. At 5’8″ he doesn’t pass the size test, but the North Texas alum made enough noise as a tryout player to warrant a second look. His tape reveals a kid with speed, instincts and playmaking skill. He might not make it this year, but there is value worth keeping close by.