Chicago Bears 2018 NFL Draft: Mid Round Jump Ball WRs
The Chicago Bears are still likely to take a wide receiver in the 2018 NFL Draft. Who are some mid-round jump ball receivers that the team could look for?
The Chicago Bears addressed receiver early and often during free agency. However, they are unlikely to be completely done at the position. The need has just been pushed down. This is not a top heavy draft at wide receiver, but in the middle rounds there are are a variety of options to pick your poison from. This three-part series will look a couple of receivers with similar skill sets that the team could hit in the middle rounds. We will look at deep threats, big slot receivers, and jump ball receivers.
Simmie Cobbs, Indiana
Cobbs made a real name for himself on the opening night of the College Football season. A 10 catch, 149 yards performance against Ohio State, and their big-name cornerbacks turned everyone’s heads.
However, the rest of his season was not quite on that level. He only topped 100 yards twice more, against Purdue and Maryland. This includes four catches for 37 yards combined against Georgia Southern and Rutgers. Add in an up and down athletic profile that features a beyond poor 40-yard dash and you have a player slipping into the later or middle rounds.
However, the Bears have been in contact with Cobbs. They may be seeing his upside and understanding that he is now looked at as a lottery shot in the late rounds, why not take a chance.
The talent of Cobbs is real. He has natural body fluidity and ball tracking skills. He does a great job of high pointing passes and contorting his body to haul in the inaccurate throws. Notice his body fluidity in the play below. He is able to completely turn himself around while tracking the ball. He is able to find it, and real it in while keeping his feet down on the sideline.
Against a future top ten pick, Denzel Ward, Cobbs plucked the ball from over his head with great concentration.
While many say that one game is an admiration, he is able to use his length to separate and track a touchdown against Wisconsin’s Nick Nelson, another noted NFL draft prospect.
Related Story: Simmie Cobbs draft profile
Cobbs does not bring much physicality to his game. Whether it be blocking, or beating press. Cobbs missed his entire 2016 season with an ankle injury, and with his explosion scores, likely may not get back to a higher level of play. However, as a late round red zone threat who can clearly win with a man draped on him, Cobbs is not a bad look.
Cedrick Wilson Jr. , Boise State
You cannot make a list of 2018 draft prospects winning at contested catches without listing Cedrick Wilson. Wilson led the country in contested catch rate. The son of former NFL receiver Cedrick Wilson has mastered his craft and knows where he wins.
As shown in his athletic profile below, Wilson is not going to burn you with blazing speed.
However, he has size and can jump, which allows him to go get footballs. But what he brings best is not measurable at the combine. It is his ball tracking ability. Wilson does a great job maneuvering his body to find the football.
Watch the play below. He is not able to get a step on his cornerback and the pass is thrown well behind him. This cannot end well, right. Wrong. Cedrick Wilson is able to stop, work back to the ball and haul in the pass while laying out.
The ball tracking ability combined with the leaping make him intriguing. In the play below two players are draped all over him. Doesn’t matter. Wilson is hauling this pass in. What is best is noticing how he works to get his second foot down in bounds. One foot is a touchdown in college, but Wilson is not looking to be a star in college, he is crafting his game of the NFL.
Wilson does not typically go over the middle and does not win with much separation. This is going to turn teams off and push him down, boards. However, he has a higher ceiling than Cobbs at this point. The Bears would have to jump on him in the fourth round, but it may not be a bad option, and at that point, he could easily be the best player available.
Related Story: Cedrick Wilson Draft Profile
Javon Wims, Georgia
Wims is an older prospect, staying all four years at Georgia. However, he developed his game in that time, and while his upside of being a top receiving threat is likely not available, he can contribute as a depth receiver next season.
Wims was a leading receiver for the National runner-up last season. Wims is a former basketball player and it shows as he has great ball skills and knows how to go up and haul in the tough passes, as shown below.
However, there is some nuance to build off of from Wims. As shown below a quick stutter is able to get him space to the outside. He is able to haul in the tough pass with balance and contort his body to reach the plane.
While the upside of Wims is limited to a fourth or fifth receiver who can see goal line snaps, the Bears could use that. There is no saying at this time Kevin White will be healthy, and Wims brings a similar role.
In the sixth round, a chance on Javon Wims could be taken by the Chicago Bears.