1. Will Montgomery
You can’t call a day one starter a surprise, but what Will Montgomery has already brought to the offensive line and the offensive as a whole is astonishing. The 10-year veteran has tons of experience under his belt, including starting all 16 games for three straight seasons through the 2011-13 seasons. Most importantly, he’s familiar with John Fox and Adam Gase who were both of his coaches last season in Denver. When Montgomery was asked if he’s basically a part of the coaching staff, he replied: “Yeah, definitely. I’m familiar with all of the calls and the schemes. We’re adding some schemes as well. But definitely it’s helpful that I was with Denver last year.” (ESPN)
2. Cornelius Washington
There might not be a defender who has made a bigger impact so far than Cornelius Washington; especially this last weekend. Washington has been credited to multiple would-be sacks against both Jay Cutler and Jimmy Clausen, and even against the offensive line starters. His bulking up could be a big reason of his recent success. In 2013, he weighed 265 at the NFL Combine; now he’s 289. After not receiving much playing time so far in his early career, Washington believes his weight gain will help him more time on the field in a new position.
“It gives me a chance to be on the field a lot more than the previous two years… I think it will be a good move for me.”
3. Sherrick McManis
McManis is trying to prove to the new regime that he’s more than just a special teams player. There isn’t a better way to convince the coaching staff than going against receiver Alshon Jeffery in “1v1”. Surprisingly, McManis held his own; tipping a pass out of Jeffery’s hands on one play in the endzone and gave Cutler no room to get a pass off to Jeffery in another play. the 27-year old has a great opportunity in front of him to receive a legitimate role on the new defense. There’s tons of depth at cornerback for the Bears, but McManis has showed that he belongs in the conversation.
4. Jeremy Langford
It isn’t a coincidence that Langford is getting every opportunity to be the number two running back; it’s because he’s already shown he can be the real deal.
“I’ve been impressed with his (Langford) intelligence, how quick he picked it up,” said offensive coordinator Adam Gase.
The former Michigan State running back has impressed coaches not only with his speed, but his excellent route running.
5. Terrance Mitchell
As I said earlier, the Bears have tons of depth at cornerback this season. However, 23-year old Terrance Mitchell has came out of nowhere. The former seventh-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft has made an impact early, including giving receiver Eddie Royal fits in redzone situations. Mitchell looks like he is on the border of actually making the roster, but based on his performance so far in camp; he could be one of the last players to sneak in.