With the departures of Earl Bennett and Eric Weems, the Bears currently lack a solid option at the #3 wide receiver spot. The player in this spot would be likely the fifth receiving option overall behind Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte, and Martellus Bennett, but in that particular group, good hands and some decent speed could be a boon to round out the corps.
Enter Marquess Wilson, possibly? Last year's seventh-round draft pick could be making some waves in the receiving corps for just that spot. Michael Wright of ESPN recently fielded a question in his Twitter mailbag regarding the cuts of Bennett and Weems as freeing up opportunities for Wilson.
I believe the Bears are very high on Wilson as the front-runner to take on that No. 3 receiver spot. The team liked what they saw out of Wilson as a rookie, and if you remember towards the end of last season, he was starting to get more playing time. Wilson finished his rookie year with two catches for 13 yards, and he appears to be way ahead of the game at this point in terms of his development going into Year 2. If you haven't, look around for some recent pictures of Wilson. He's down in Florida training with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and some of the other guys, and you can tell he's been working out hard. Wilson was a little lanky when he first came to the Bears, but now he's starting to get ripped. That is only going to help him next season with what should be a more significant role.
I'm all for taking a talented player in a lower round and allowing him to develop into an expanded role on the team, but normally I'd be opposed to such a low draft pick getting this much of a jump this quickly - perhaps another year behind Bennett would help. And it's likely the Bears aren't done bringing aboard another receiver. That being said, if the Bears feel Wilson's ready, it's not the highest-priority spot (like, say, inserting Devin Hester at the #1) and it's in a position for him to succeed.
Would you be comfortable if Wilson were the team's #3 receiver heading into 2014?