The Chicago Bears are a team scorned by the wider NFL media lately. Maybe it’s part of their losing ways from 2014 to 2017 but it has gotten a bit comical at times. Nowhere more so than the NFL Top 100 series. For those who don’t know about it, here’s a quick recap. It is a series covering the 100 best players in the league today as voted on by the players. The last person to crack that list for the Bears was Matt Forte in 2016.
That stings even more because by that time he’d left for the New York Jets. The last player to actually make the list and be on the roster opening day? Yep. Matt Forte in 2015. He was joined by Brandon Marshall that year but again, he was already with the Jets by the time the list came out. The Bears have been blanked for two-straight years.
Even the 49ers got Carlos Hyde onto the list last year. Over Akiem Hicks, no less. So can Chicago expect more of the same after the team just got done going 12-4 and winning a division title? No. NFL Network tweeted some teasers ahead of their first episode. It features Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans talking a Bears player. So the streak is definitely over.
Who is it? Take one guess.
Khalil Mack shouldn’t be only Chicago Bears representative
It’s hardly a shock that Mack is on the list. The man is widely considered one of the two or three best defenders in football. He received one of just five 99 ratings from Madden and was named All-Pro last season after posting 12.5 sacks in just 14 games. It would not be a surprise if he ends up in the top five slots when the final segment of the list is unveiled.
That said, it’s unlikely he’ll be alone. After the season the Bears had, it’s a virtual guarantee a couple of other names will make the rankings as well. Most likely among them being safety Eddie Jackson, cornerback Kyle Fuller, defensive end Akiem Hicks, and running back Tarik Cohen. All four made the Pro Bowl last season and three of them were All-Pros like Mack. Jackson is widely viewed as one of the best safeties in the league and Fuller established himself as a top cornerback.
A few dark horses may include Allen Robinson and Cody Whitehair. Either way, there is no question Mack’s presence brought far more attention to the Bears in 2018. It should finally yield results in the Top 100.