TEs/F-Backs are the next positions up in our on-going roster projection series here at Chicago Bears Huddle.
TEs/F-Backs on the roster:
- Kyle Adams – Second-year player
- Kellen Davis – Five-year veteran
- Evan Rodriguez – Rookie
- Matt Spaeth – Six-year veteran
- Brandon Venson – Rookie
Projected starter at TE: Kellen Davis
Despite playing in a scheme that wasn’t TE receiver friendly, Davis was able to lead the team in TDs in 2011 with five. That might not be saying much considering what the Bears had to offer at the WR position, but it showed that Davis can be more than just a blocking TE.
Brought back on a two-year deal, Davis has the opportunity to finally capitalize off his potential as he will now be in a TE receiver friendly offense.
Davis’ 6-7, 267-pound frame could potentially cause mismatches for LBs and Safeties over the middle of the field and down the seams. With the attention the WRs will get on the outside, Davis could be in for a breakout year.
Projected back-up: Matt Spaeth
While most of the TEs on the roster are more receivers than blockers, it’s good to see that Emery held on to the best blocking TE on the team in Matt Spaeth. Spaeth blocked well on the edges, clearing running lanes on the outside for the RBs and was also an effective pass blocker.
In a scheme that I assume will emphasize the run and play-action, Spaeth is valuable piece to have.
Projected starter at f-back: Evan Rodriguez
Rodriguez brings the speed element to this group, and just one of the many safety nets Cutler will have at his disposal this year. At a little under 6-2, Rodriguez is not going to physically cause mismatches against LBs, but from an athletic standpoint, he’s going to be a problem.
Rodriguez should play the same role of Patriots’ TE Aaron Hernandez and Raiders’ FB Marcel Reece; two guys Rodriguez share a similar a skill-set with in terms of being able to line-up anywhere on the field and use their athleticism to make big plays.
If you are looking for a dark horse as far as rookie standout, Rodriguez will have a great opportunity to be that player this year.
Projected back-up: Kyle Adams
Adams is not as fast and quick as Rodriguez, or as big as Davis. But, he is a tough in-line blocker with very good hands to make to make the tough catch. Adams has the ability to be the back-up for both Davis and Rodriguez because of his ability as a pass catcher and efficient blocker both on the edge and in-line.
Overall analysis on TE position
New life was breathed into the TE position this off-season when the team decided not to bring back Mike Martz, who thought of the position as nothing more than an extra OT. Tice, being a former NFL TE himself, plans to use the receiving abilities of Davis, Rodriguez, Adams, and even Spaeth—to some extent—this season.
As mentioned earlier, Davis was brought back in on a two-year deal and will be looked upon in this offense to provide that big, vertical threat up the middle of the field. At 6-7, 267, we expect Davis to dramatically improve on his red zone numbers. This could possibly be a breakout season for the veteran TE.
The f-back position around the league is becoming popular. The ability to have a TE with fullback size coming out the backfield with explosive athleticism is a nightmare for defensive coordinators and LBs.
The Bears potentially have that guy in fourth-round pick Evan Rodriguez, who has drawn comparisons to current Patriots’ TE Aaron Hernandez.
If the rookie can’t start right away, the Bears have second-year player Kyle Adams, who was reportedly impressive during OTAs and Mini-Camp practices. Brandon Venson will need to have an impressive camp in order to take Spaeth’s or Adams’ roster spot. Otherwise, expect the Bears to break camp with a TE depth chart of Davis, E-Rod, Spaeth, and Adams.
Current Standing: Average