1. LT – J'Marcus Webb vs. Chris Williams. Both players struggled in the past at the position. Webb comes in physically looking more like the prototype left tackle at 6-foot-7, 333 pounds, with long arms and quick feet. Although Webb is athletic, it remains to be seen whether he is a good enough athlete to actually man the spot in the NFL. As GM Phil Emery pointed out, he lacks experience, after playing the spot only one season and playing inferior college competition at West Texas A&M. The seventh-round draft pick led the league in penalties last year (15) and over the past two years has been in the top two in sacks allowed league-wide. However, Williams had the position in 2009 after he had season-ending back surgery as a rookie, and he never succeeded there or even at right tackle Williams has shorter arms and appears more suitable to playing guard, although he didn't stand out at that spot last year when pressed into service as a starter there. Either player will benefit from the switch offensively to more three-step and five-step passer drops, but eventually the winner will have to stand up against Jared Allen's pass rush on his own. The early favorite has to be Webb based on two years starting at tackle spots without really losing a position.
2. LCB – Kelvin Hayden vs. Tim Jennings. It's a rematch of sorts. The two squared off for the same starting position in their second and third years at Indianapolis, then afterward were teammates at different cornerback spots. Hayden was the winner in Indy, but his stock has dropped somewhat since he helped beat the Bears in Super Bowl XLI with a key INT of Rex Grossman and TD return. Hayden would appear to rate an edge based on a physical advantage because he stands 6 feet and Jennings is just 5-8. However, the quality Jennings has which continues to endear him to coaches is his tackling ability. It's rare to see him come up and make a hit without getting the receiver to the ground. In the cover-2, it's a good quality to have. However, an even better ability in the cover-2 is being able to make a play on the football. Jennings displayed some problems in this regard late last season and briefly lost the starting spot, leading to Hayden's signing. Hayden has four more career INTs (11-7). Likely winner here would be Hayden based on that ability to play the ball.
3. SLB – Nick Roach vs. Geno Hayes. It's not a crucial position in the Bears scheme since the strong side linebacker usually is off the field after first down except in short-yardage situations. Roach has handled the duties as full-time starter two of the last three seasons after beating out injury-riddled Pisa Tinoisamoa. Roach has the ideal size to be a strong side backer at 246 pounds (6-1) and in this regard Hayes will have a difficult time making an impact at this spot. At only 6-2, 220, he'll have a difficult time standing up to a large, blocking tight end. Roach is big enough that he's considered Brian Urlacher's replacement in the middle. In reality, Hayes is more of a big-play, weak-side linebacker type who will wind up playing a great deal of special teams and backing up weak side Pro Bowl LB Lance Briggs in addition to backing up Roach.
Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter@CBSSportsNFLCHI.