Matt Forte wasn't the only rookie to impress at Bears rookie mini camp. Vanderbilt receiver Earl Bennett despite a shaky start and Marcus Monk from Arkansas both impressed.
The Bears’ work-in-progress WR corps is widely considered ordinary at best, with the team’s OTAs set to begin early next week. With that in mind, the consensus among team insiders is that both rookie pass catchers Earl Bennett and Marcus Monk — drafted in the third and seventh rounds, respectively — have an opportunity to make their presence felt fairly quickly. That much was expected from Bennett, who excelled at Vanderbilt in the tough Southeastern Conference, but not necessarily Monk, who according to recent rookie minicamp observers, was more consistently impressive than the receiver the Bears drafted four rounds earlier. Bennett got off to a shaky start in the minicamp, appearing to have a bad case of the jitters initially, but he steadily improved as the camp wore on, to the point where he was catching every pass thrown his way by the time the final day had been completed. Monk, meanwhile, caught everything in sight from the get-go, according to one close observer. “He could be a serious sleeper,” the observer told PFW. “He doesn’t have a lot of speed, but his size (6-4, 222) and hands could make him a real red-zone weapon.”
The article then goes on to put out that the two might lead to the Bears releasing newly signed Brandon Lloyd. They follow by suggesting that there are rumors floating around Halas Hall that that might be the case.
I am pleased to see that Bennett and Monk are instilling such confidence, but I just can't see Bears releasing Lloyd unless he has some off the field incidents between now and then or gets shown up at training camp. Aside from Marty Booker the Bears don't have anybody who has a lot of experience as a starting receiver. Devin Hester, Rashied Davis and Mark Bradley have all had playing time and might have a start or two under their belts, but nothing more significant. Lloyd despite what skills he may or may not have has been at least a #2 in the league for a few years, that does count for something until somebody else proves they are the better option.