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With the Bears season on the brink of being over at 5-7, it’s time to turn our focus to next year and what prospects might be available to fix our beloved Bears. With the draft being in Chicago this year, the draft is even more exciting than most years for Bears fans. Even if the Bears manage to win out and sneak into the playoffs, they still have plenty of holes on both sides of the ball and need to build some quality young depth. I will be breaking down prospects at every position with some focus on players I think the Bears could target. At some positions that aren’t as glaring of a need for the Bears like RB (unless they trade Forte) and maybe guard, I will focus less on the players projected to go early and focus more the mid-round prospects who the Bears presumably could target.
If you are sick of watching the Bears, there is some really exciting football being played on Saturdays this season and these lists will identify some players to keep an eye on during the last few weeks of the college football season and the initial college football playoff.
Position Summary: Assuming the Bears don’t rebuild (please do!) they are probably set at their first 3 WRs stops with Marshall, Jeffrey, and Wilson but they have little to no depth behind those three. If they do end up attempting a rebuild (again, please!) they could probably get a 3rd-4th round pick for Marshall. Even if they keep their current core together, Marshall is getting old (30) and has clearly lost a step or two on the field already. I’ve broke the receiver prospect into two parts. The first part for tall Marshall types as either an immediate replacement due to a Marshall trade or as an eventual replacement.
The second part of the WR breakdown is for the short, quick receivers that the Bears don’t have on their roster right now but could really use if they are going to continue this farce of a short pass offense. Part 2 of the breakdown will also consider WRs who could have an impact on the kick and punt return game which has been a disaster all season.
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* These aren’t ordered rankings, just WRs I think could end up on the Bears depending on how the offseason shakes out.
1.) Ty Montgomery, SR Stanford
Attributes – 6’1, 210, 4.46
Scouting report – Came in to the 2015 season as one of the highest rated WRs, but has had a disappointing SR season. Montgomery has had issues with drops and has been inconsistent game-to-game. When he’s on, Montgomery is one of the most dynamic players after the catch in college football, he just needs to catch the ball. Despite his receiving numbers being down this year, Montgomery is so dangerous as a kick / punt returner that he probably won’t make it out of the 2nd round. He’s currently 3rd in the FBS with a 19.8 punt return average and also averages 25.2 yards per return on kickoffs.
Projection – 2nd round
2.) Stefon Diggs, JR Maryland
Attributes – 6’0, 205, 4.46
Scouting report – Explosive playmaker who is a weapon to take it to the house anytime the ball is in his hands. His receiving technique needs some work, but he is big enough to eventually become a weapon as receiver. Early on Diggs could be a dynamic kick and punt returner. Injuries have been a bit of a concern with Diggs whose season was cut short by a lacerated kidney this year, but he is one of the quickest players I have seen with elite change-of-direction skills.
NFL comparison – Randall Cobb
Projection – 3rd round
Attributes – 5’11, 225, 4.49
Scouting report – Has been bypassed by Casey Coleman as Baylor’s go-to guy this season due to an early season quad injury. Goodley is short but powerfully built and excels at catching screen and slant passes then making things happen after the catch. Goodley is strong enough to beat the jam at the line of scrimmage, has the acceleration to get off the line quickly and enough speed to gain big yardage after the catch.
NFL comparison – Kendall Wright
Projection – 3rd round
4.) Tyler Lockett, SR Kansas St
Attributes – 5’11, 175, 4.46
Scouting report – Small, but extremely quick and a very sharp route runner who has had no trouble getting open at the college level. He’s not just a slot guy either as Lockett has the speed to take the top off of defenses. The only knock on Lockett besides his lack of size are some drops on catchable passes. Lockett has the quickness and acceleration to upgrade the Bears return game as well. Lockett is 2nd in the FBS with a 20.5 punt return average this year.
NFL comparison – DeSean Jackson
Projection – 4th round
5.) Mario Alford
Attributes – 5’9, 178, 4.39
Scouting report – A burner, who has really developed as a receiver this year opposite future 1st rounder Kevin White. Alford tracks the ball well on deep routes and is so fast that he can make some big plays after the catch. His route running technique needs a lot of work and his hands are suspect, but Alford has improved considerably this year and has potential to be a game changing deep threat. Short-term, Alford can be a weapon as a kick returner and is averaging 30.4 yards per kick return which is 6th in CFB for players with at least 10 returns.
NFL projection – Ted Ginn
Projection – 5th round