Just focusing on the nine players that currently make up the linebacking corps for the Chicago Bears, there is only one spot that is written in stone, which is Lance Briggs manning the weakside. The middle will be up for grabs between 11-year veteran D.J. Williams and Jon Bostic, who is entering his second NFL season.
Bostic is also a possible candidate for the strongside, along with converted defensive end Shea McClellin. As for rookie DeDe Lattimore and the other four linebackers, they’ll be vying for backup slots on the depth chart.
Lattimore, an undrafted free agent, will have to stand out on special teams in order to have a fighting chance at making the Bears’ 53-man roster for the 2014 season. However, accomplishing this goal won’t be an easy task for the former University of South Florida product. Khaseem Greene and Jerry Franklin both were on the roster last year, and will be breathing down the neck of Lattimore for that responsibility.
To make matters even more difficult for Lattimore, Chicago brought in Jordan Senn, who was a special teams captain for the Carolina Panthers, during the offseason. However, USF’s all-time tackles leader will also have to outplay fellow undrafted free agent rookie Christian Jones.
Lattimore, who was a four-year starter in the middle and the weakside for the Bulls, obviously has the versatility to help Chicago’s linebacking corps. But his best chance of contributing to the Bears’ defense will more than likely be on the practice squad for the 2014 season.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.