A while ago I wrote a post on the top 10 draft busts by the Chicago Bears in the past 20 years. That list may need to be amended as the Bears cut several draft picks to make the 53-man roster.
Most notably, 2007 second round draft pick Dan Bazuin and 2007 third round pick Michael Okwo. Bazuin was touted as a solid defensive end to compete with Mark Anderson. At that time the Bears had ideas of putting more speed and youth and defensive end and part ways with Alex Brown. Brown is extremely solid against the run but is not known for his passing rushing skills. After the Bears started Anderson last year and saw how poorly he struggled against the run the Bears opted to sign Brown for a few more years.
Bazuin never got into a game for the Bears and struggled with injuries. Even when healthy this preseason he looked slow off the ball and didn’t appear to fit the mold of quick, suffocating ends the Bears need.
Okwo was picked one pick after running back Garrett Wolfe but never managed to get into any game action. The Bears have shown a commitment to their current linebackers with Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs signed long-term and Hunter Hillenmeyer consistently playing solid. However, the Bears had a need for a talented young linebacker to step up in the event any of the big three have an injury. Okwo was overshadowed by the solid play of Nick Roach, a young linebacker signed to the practice squad last year who looked fantastic in training camp and preseason.
That leaves the Bears out two high draft picks from just last year. Add that to the fact that the Bears have lost first round draft pick, tackle Chris Williams for most of the season and the fact that of five seventh round picks this year, the Bears have only kept one on the 53-man roster, drafting continues to be a thorn in the side of the Bears organization.
The biggest question mark was at the wide receiver position where the Bears had a ton of competition and no clear front runners. The Bears settled on Devin Hester, Marty Booker, Rashied Davis, Earl Bennett, Mark Bradley, and Brandon Lloyd. Fans have to be disappointed that Mike Hass once again failed to make the final roster after showing an uncanny ability to make great catches. However, coaches are still reluctant to use him because of his slow speed off the ball. The biggest surprise has to be Mark Bradley, who was a good as gone a couple weeks ago. What a difference a couple preseason games can make. After making some great connections with Rex Grossman he appears to be ready to embrace the expectations put on him as a big play receiver. The Bears sorely needed a big play receiver to compliment Devin Hester on the field. Booker, Davis, and Lloyd all play well in the slot receiver position but are limited in their big play speed.
The ability of rookie Earl Bennett remains undetermined. He has not been regarded as a great receiver but has shown good hands and looked awesome in a punt return for a touchdown in the preseason. He remains the biggest gamble on the roster as a possible big talent.
However, for those still looking for fantasy wide receivers, I think the biggest impact could be made by Rashied Davis. Since Kyle Orton took over the starting job Davis has been his go-to-guy early and the two appear to have a good chemistry on the football field.