Top 30 for 2023: The players who will define Chicago's season
Matt Marton - USA Today Sports

Top 30 for 2023: The players who will define Chicago's season

by - Senior Writer -

Before we get into things, I want to recognize Independence Day and, hopefully, everyone had a safe and happy holiday. That said, it is time to get back into the swing of Bears football, as training camp opens in roughly three weeks. With that being said, there is a lot of buzz starting to surround this team, as many have viewed the Bears as one of the most improved teams this season.

Unlike most sports, where one person can be the difference between a winning and losing team, it takes a team effort to be successful in the NFL. Sure, having an MVP like Patrick Mahomes and some other players will help, but having a balanced roster makes life so much easier for a young team looking to improve.

When it comes to the Bears this season, no one will argue that this is an improved team, but how much more improved will be something to answer down the road. The Bears will have a different-looking 53-man roster this season than last season, and that is an incredible sight if you are a Bears fan.

Over the next few weeks, we will look at this roster and discuss the 30 most important players for the Bears this season. We will start at No. 30 and work our way down while discussing three players in each column.

Today it will be no. 30-28, so let's dive right into it:

30. Cairo Santos

Often overlooked on any roster, the kicker is arguably one of the most important players on this team. Sure, it is up to the offense to score points, but if you don't have a kicker that can make the kicks, you'll lose quite a few games.

The Bears are no strangers to having good kickers, as they had Robbie Gould for more than a decade kicking balls through the uprights. Following his departure from the team, the Bears have had trouble finding a reliable kicker to get the job done consistently. Santos doesn't fall into that category, as he has been the most consistent and reliable kicker they have had since Gould.

Santos may not have the strongest leg among the kickers in this league, but if you have a chance to make a kick under 50 yards, he is your man. The 31-year-old is entering his 10th season in the league and made 21-23 field goals last season, including 4-5 from over 50. Santos also had a franchise record of 27 straight field goals dating from the end of 2020 into 2021, as he will play a huge role again this season.

29. D'Onta Foreman

Any time you are being brought in to replace a guy like David Montgomery, you can bet plenty of expectations will come with it. Fortunately for Foreman, he isn't going to be expected to shoulder the load as the Bears will once again have a deep and talented RB room.

Foreman will be one of four players to fall in that room, and his fit with the team remains to be seen. When given a chance, Foreman has proven he can be a reliable player, as he has topped the 1000-yard mark before as a starter. No one is expecting him to do that this season, but he is a guy that needs to produce when he is on the field.

If anything, Foreman is going to be the 1A guy for Chicago and is going to get 12-15 carries a game. Even if he averages 4.0 YPC over those carries, you are looking at a player who will approach 1000 yards and bring a nice balance into the RB mix.

28. Khari Blasingame

Very few teams use a FB in today's game, but the ones that do thrive off of running the football. The Bears are no exception, as they led the NFL in rushing a season ago and are in a position to potentially do that again.

For that to happen, Blasingame needs to continue producing even if he isn't talked about much. Blasingame was initially drafted as an RB but was moved to FB three years into his career, ultimately saving his career as a player. Blasingame is seldom used, but he is one of the best, if not the best, blocking FBs in today's NFL.

That is crucial, especially in this Luke Getsey offense, as they need strong run-blocking players to help produce the yards they have on the ground. Blasingame is like having another offensive lineman in the backfield, and the Bears will follow his lead a lot this season.

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