With NFL training camps opening up, a lot of excitement is built up around this time. Everyone starts with a clean slate so to speak and players are looking to build on what happened the previous season. I will go over players for the Chicago Bears who have a lot to prove as the seasons kicks off.
- Kevin White: No surprise here. Kevin White has played in only 5 out of the 48 possible games since being selected with the seventh overall pick back in 2015. If White suffers an injury again, it will be tough to see him having an NFL future after this season when he becomes a free agent. Reports from training camp have said White has looked good but it’s no benefit to White or the Bears if he can produce when it matters most, in live games.
- Leonard Floyd: Much like White, Floyd was another Top ten pick for the Chicago Bears who hasn’t quite live up to his potential. While he has shown flashes of what he can bring, he has also suffered his share of injuries and is recovering from knee surgery. The Bears will be very reliant on Floyd to bolster a pass-rush that has already been projected to be the worst in the NFL. Staying healthy is half the battle, he also needs to generate more pressure when he is out there and provide the Bears with an impact player.
- Kyle Long: After being selected to the Pro-Bowl in his first three seasons, Long’s past two seasons have seen him end up on the Injured Reserve list. Long needs to show that he can indeed stay healthy because when he is, he is on the best offensive linemen in the league. Even though he played with injuries last season, he graded out well at run-blocking. According to Pro Football Focus, Long secured a run-block grade of 76.6. That grade ranked Long at 20th in the league among eligible guards that season!
- Kyle Fuller: After having a very productive year last season. Kyle Fuller will need to duplicate the performance to show that he indeed is the real deal. Seeming to have put his own personal health issues behind him, Fuller earned a grade of 84.3 last season. Finishing only behind Darius Slay in pass break-ups, Fuller seems to be on the path to living up to that first-round selection.
- Mitch Trubisky: When he finally got the chance to start, The Bears played things close to the chest with the former number 2 overall pick out of North Carolina. With a new offensive minded Coach and new receivers, Trubisky will be asked to make a huge leap in year two.
The key thing to note about this list is that all of these players were First Round selections. If the Bears are to get back to being competitive, these players will need to produce at a high level. The talent is there, they need more consistency in production and health.