Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago and DC
WR candidates in the draft
I think it's safe to say Crabtree will be gone by the Bears first round pick, barring a huge trade up. So he's out in terms of this discussion.
What would be nice is if the Bears got a big target that can move the chains. Hester is the big play threat.
We need a big target, that's not afraid to go over the middle. Basically the opposite of the Bears traditional midget receivers that are 5'10 and 185. Orton, when his ankle isn't taped like a grapefruit, is actually solid at evading pressure and getting out of the pocket, which means sometimes he has to throw on the run. Having a bigger receiver that is willing to go anywhere on the field, would make Orton's life a lot easier.
So it's almost unanimous that after Crabtree, these are the next 5 best receivers:
Percy Harvin, 5'10, 190 (rumored to be 5'9)
He is exactly the size of the traditional Bears midget receivers. He's an unpolished receiver, even more so than Hester, and he doesn't do anything that Hester doesn't already do. (If that made sense) Anyways, I see nothing that would help the Bears by drafting him, just more of the same.
Jeremy Maclin, 6'0, 200.
A huge threat to score from anywhere on the field, great with the ball in his hands. Tough player, will go over the middle, makes effort when run blocking. However he has been known to drop the ball when he takes his eye off it to see where the defenders are. His knee needs to get medically checked. There is worry that he's the product of a system, with inflated stats because of that. He isn't a polished receiver with route running and getting out of cuts, but the indication is that it's only a matter of time.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, 6'2, 205.
This is actually my bust WR pick. I'm not high on him at all, so this won't be nice. He does one thing really well. Run fast. He's a track star. But he's not a football player, he doesn't block and gets lazy. He does not get any separation from the corner. He's not physical. He does not like to run over the middle, and is thought to be intimidated by safeties that can hit. He's a developmental prospect. I wouldn't pick him before the 3rd round.
Hakeem Nicks, 6'1, 210.
Tough, physical, strong receiver with great hands. Can catch anything, even if he gets hit hard after the catch. I want to repeat it, he can catch anything. Will go over the middle, great at slants and crossing routes, which is a money throw for Orton. Great awareness on the field for where the first down is. However he doesn't have great speed, won't be a deep threat, If it's a big play, it'd be a catch and run.
Kenny Britt, 6'4, 215.
Great route runner, good at splitting zones. Physical player. Will try and run through corners and safeties. Great at run blocking for a receiver. Likes laying vicious hits in the running game against any defensive player. Doesn't have elite speed, but has enough speed for corners to respect his ability to stretch the field. His hands aren't great at catching yet, he's improving, but he relies too much on using his body to shield the defender and catch the ball with his body.
We can cross off Harvin and DHB from the list of potential 1st day draft picks. Neither is likely to contribute much in their first season as a WR. Harvin is too athletic to be a total bust, whereas DHB just has straight line speed. Neither Harvin nor DHB can be the physical big target we need.
This leaves Maclin, Nicks, Britt as my top 3 WR candidates. Maclin has the most potential out of everyone, yet he won't be a consistent, move the chains type of WR, since he's always looking for the big play and can lose track of the ball. On the flipside, Nicks is the consistent, move the chains type of WR, yet he doesn't have the big play ability. Nicks is more of a redzone threat than Maclin as he can catch the fade, and he's a better 3rd down target. Britt would fit well in our run-heavy offense. We like doing screens for Forte, and Britt can lay down a highlight reel block on screen runs.
If we go for potential, it's Maclin.
If we go for consistency and redzone, it's Nicks.
If we go for a big target with some range, it's Britt.
After all this, my WR board is (excluding Crabtree) Britt then Nicks then Maclin. While WR's don't usually break out till 2nd or 3rd season, they can contribute. Britt can contribute the most in more area's than one, which is why I have him highest. Nicks could turn into a 100 reception slot guy, while Hester is the big play threat, which is why he's above Maclin.
If anybody has anything to say on why they would like DHB or Harvin, feel free to say it. A different order than mine, say it, with reasoning please.