There are just too many intriguing prospects for me to get through looking at them all ahead of next weekend.
The fact is that Ryan Pace has done such a great job filling roster holes in free agency that there are so many different players that could be a fit for Chicago in round one. That, in turn, opens the door to a bevy of scenarios where the Bears could target any number of players in the subsequent rounds.
I don't know why, but I just feel that the Bears are going to take a defensive player in round one. Whoever it may be that the brass deems to be the best player available at the seven spot, that will be the pick.
I think that the defensive leanings of John Fox, plus the new defensive scheme and overall lack of talent on that side of the ball, will tilt the odds that way. Plus there are just too many defensive players to overlook. Add in that I have a sneaking suspicion that Amari Cooper and Kevin White will be off the board by the time the Bears get on the clock.
Sure, the Bears could take a guy like Devante Parker, but why take the third-best receiver over the second-best defensive tackle or the second-best OLB? Especially if the board has some edge rushers ranked higher than the receivers.
In any event, I think the Bears are more likely to be looking at receivers early on Friday evening in round two.
Here are a couple more guys who could fit the Bears' needs:
Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami (Fla.)
Dorsett is the prototypical small speedster. At 5'9" and 185 lbs he is similar in build to former Bears deep threat Johnny Knox (6'0" 185).
STRENGTHS: Possesses true "see-ya" speed with easy acceleration to turn on the jets and erase pursuit angles from defenders and he should be a prime candidate for the fastest 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine. Explosive playmaker with his natural speed and ability to create after the catch.
Shows the ability to make an impact at all levels of the field, also helping out on special teams as a return man. Has terrific body control and tracks the ball well downfield.
WEAKNESSES: Undersized at just 5-9, lacking ideal size and strength for the next level. Has struggled throughout his career with easy drops in important situations. Pre-draft testing will be important to gauge whether Dorsett lost any of his trademark speed due to partial tear of MCL in 2013.
That report is obviously old because Dorsett did answer some questions in the pre-draft contest by running a scorching 4.33 40-yard dash at the Combine.
NFL COMPARISON John Brown
BOTTOM LINE Dorsett is an ascending prospect who has averaged more than 25 yards per catch since 2012. He can challenge teams vertically inside or outside and he has home-run potential after the catch as a slot receiver. With smaller wide receivers like T.Y. Hilton and Antonio Brown proving that small and fast can win in the NFL, Dorsett should be coveted by more than one team and has the potential to turn into a star in the NFL.
Dorsett certainly has speed that the Bears' corps currently lacks. Could WR coach Mike Groh develop him into a T.Y. Hilton type? I don't know, but that is a tantalizing idea.
Another receiver who has ability but could use some polishing is Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn.
Coates has much more size and build than Dorsett, measuring in at 6'1" and 212 lbs. While he's got size, he differs from Alshon Jeffery in that he has a little bit more game-breaking speed. He's similar in build to Texans wide out DeAndre Hopkins, but he lacks the former Clemson player's route-running skills.
STRENGTHS: Tall, chiseled frame with cut muscle definition and longer arms than several of his offensive line teammates. Above average straight-line speed with swift, decisive strides to stretch defenses; shifts gears well with a second gear to easily accelerate and get behind the secondary; his ability to be a vertical threat stays in the minds of cornerbacks.
Strong upper body to fight off tacklers with a heavy stiff arm; dangerous after the catch with the plant-and-go burst to be slippery and elude defenders. Shows the lower body explosion to elevate and highpoint, quick hands to make natural adjustments and handle fastballs. Physical blocker with room to grow in this area.
However there are questions about his concentration and work ethic on his route running.
Won't be on quarterback's Christmas card list. Wasn't always on same page with Auburn QB Nick Marshall. Unreliable target. Inexplicable focus drops in all areas of the field. Doesn't play with extended catch radius. Had a drop rate of 19.1 percent. Vertical receiver without vertical feel. Inconsistent play speed. Will gear down too easily on deep routes, turning catchable touchdowns into "overthrows." Suspect ball tracking. Must improve at using body to ward off defenders. Inconsistent with contested catches. Stiff hips and limited route runner. Slow to gather and turn it upfield on catch-and-runs.
Sports Quotient writer Adrien Nelson III has a good breakdown on Coates' knocks:
There are two big knocks against Coates: drops and route running. As far as the drops goes, the consensus is just that he gets a bit lazy at times with his hands and doesn't complete the catch and bring in balls that a wide receiver should catch. Personally, I don't put much stock in the criticism of draft prospects hands. It seems that every year, if you're not the number one or two receiver in the country then you will have "a problem with drops." These problems can and do persist in the pros, but often they are overstated as part of the draft hype.
Would either of these guys float your boat at No. 39?