The 10 most important players on the Chicago Bears
T-1. RB Jordan Howard (45 votes)
T-1. WR Kevin White (45)
T-3. DE Akiem Hicks (28)
T-3. LB Leonard Floyd (28)
5. T Charles Leno (27)
6. G Kyle Long (13)
T-7. TE Zach Miller (12)
T-7. C Cody Whitehair (12)
T-10. CB Kyle Fuller (10)
T-10. LB Danny Trevathan (10)
T-10. LB Pernell McPhee (10)
In terms of perceived importance to his team, Jordan Howard’s vote total is right up there with Ezekiel Elliott (47 points) and LeSean McCoy (45), from our East division ballots. Three pollsters had Howard slotted in at No. 1 (Jones, Kaplan, Single), with a fourth (Feldman) placing him second behind White.
The lone ballot on which Howard was not the first- or second-place player was Vrentas’s. He landed fifth there, with the top spot occupied by Floyd; White checked in at No. 2. Also above Howard on the Vrentas ballot: Leno and Whitehair, and the overall voting hit on how important Chicago’s O-line will be this season—those two linemen plus Kyle Long landed in the top 10.
An unexpected development came in the lack of love for Cameron Meredith. The Bears’ leading receiver a year ago placed on just two ballots (Single and Feldman), no higher than sixth.
Jenny Vrentas defends her first-place vote for Leonard Floyd: Leonard Floyd has the chance to be the strength of a Bears roster that's in transition. We saw glimpses of Floyd's talent last year, but the key to how well the Bears defense plays—and, perhaps, the future of the Bears coaching staff—is whether or not he can take a big step forward as a second-year pass rusher.
Other Bears receiving votes: CB Prince Amukamara (nine votes), G Josh Sitton (seven), WR Cameron Meredith (six), LB Willie Young (four), S Adrian Amos (three), S Quintin Demps (three), LB Lamarr Houston (three)