When Devin Hester was taken in the second round by Jerry Angelo of all people, Angelo and the Bears were thought to be, well, perhaps a little "out there" for taking a player with no discernible talent aside from having insane run-with-ball skills. Now, getting the ball, that proved to be a challenge, but as a punt and kick returner, Angelo and the Bears have had the last laugh on that since Hester's first two seasons in the league, as well as several teams drafting their own return specialists - in essence, Devin Hester helped Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith shape special teams construction in the NFL for the better part of eight seasons. Chew on that for a second.
Now, with Hester potentially on his last legs - or rather, coming off one of his most disappointing seasons - should the Bears look to restock that cabinet? We've already touched on Tavon Austin, a burner of a receiver with some great after-catch skills, but if the Bears are looking for a returner with receiver ability, South Carolina's Ace Sanders might be a guy to consider there.
Sanders played second fiddle to Alshon Jeffery at South Carolina, but he has some undeniable skill. His biggest hurdle is his size, where at 5'8" and 175 pounds, it's less-than-ideal for such a vulnerable position, even if he is as shifty as Sanders is. He'll primarily be a returner in the NFL, but should be able to play receiver. He's tough, but CBS cites his lack of route progression, quick-twitch as opposed to pure speed, and looseness with the football as questions for him to solve.
CBS currently has him at the 161st top prospect and the 19th best receiver, projected in the fifth round, but with a good workout, can vault his way into the third or fourth round on his return skills. They also list his comp as Roscoe Parrish, which isn't exactly superstar, but still pretty decent.
What are your thoughts on Ace Sanders? Where would you be happy taking him, if you want to see him in a Bears uniform at all?
(Plus, think of all the Ace Ventura photoshops David Taylor could do! Don't put him out of work...)