As we continue to dive into potential training camp battles this July and August, we look closer at the wide receiver position.
Training Camp Battle: Wide Receivers
Chicago Bears training camp is going to have a handful of position battles for the first time in recent years.
The most enticing will be the wide receivers battling for roster spots and the starting jobs.
Entering training camp on July 27th, the Chicago Bears will have 10 wide receivers on the roster.
Led by Cameron Meredith, Kevin White, Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright, Victor Cruz, Josh Bellamy, Daniel Braverman, Rueben Randle, Deonte Thompson and Titus Davis.
On average, an NFL team keeps six wide receivers on their roster. Five of which are ready in pads for game action. That leaves four spots open with six players in a training camp battle for a roster spot.
Victor Cruz leads the way with 8 years of NFL experience. He has spent his time with the New York Giants as their primary receiver before they acquired Odell Beckham Jr and injuries consequently derailed his playing time. A healthy Cruz will provide the Bears with the leadership they are looking for mainly out of the slot position.
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Kendall Wright brings 5 years of experience to the Bears. His time with the Tennessee Titans had both highs and lows. He hasn’t matched his best season of 2013 in which he caught 94 passes for 1,079 yards. Wright is talented, and the Bears one year gamble on him may prove how good he can be.
Josh Bellamy has 5 years experience most of these have been injury riddled seasons. He has been primarily used on special teams and returning kicks.
Markus Wheaton has 4 years of experience with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is a threat on the outside with his speed and could be the deep threat the Bears need to spread the field. Wheaton is coming off a shoulder injury in 2016 but the Bears don’t seem too concerned as they offered him a 2-year contract.
Deonte Thompson has 5 years of experience as a kick return specialist. He showed promise as a receiver and will fight for both a wide receiver spot and the kick return position.
Rueben Randle has 4 years of experience, however, he didn’t play during the 2016 NFL season. He is a big body receiver at 6’2 and considered a possession receiver, not a speedster. He is a reliable but not flashy receiver can be one of the players on the outside looking in.
Cameron Meredith has 3 years experience and is the most promising talent on the roster. Meredith exploded onto the scene last year for 66 catches, 888 yards and 4 touchdowns. He will be the primary target and hopefully, develop into a true number one receiver.
Kevin White is the unknown going into his third season. Only playing in four games nobody is sure what he can produce, or if he can stay healthy enough for a full season. Drafted to be the Bears’ to be a number one receiver, unfortunately, the leg injuries have kept him mostly on the sidelines.
Daniel Braverman has 1 year of experience and is a work in progress. Drafted in the seventh round with the idea of making him a slot receiver for the Bears. While Braverman hasn’t seen the field much yet he can only improve with another training camp under his belt.
The Chicago Bears have a solid mix of young promising and veteran receivers heading into training camp which will generate great storylines and drama in the upcoming month of Bears football.