Bear way down in receiving
Slowly things are making sense for the Chicago bears, little pieces of the puzzle are fitting together and we have ourselves a quarterback that the majority of people think is our franchise QB. After last season though one of the main things that stuck out was the lack of core receivers we had. The Bears were dead last in the league for receiving with only 3,085 yards, granted that was just one yard behind the Buffalo Bills who made the postseason. But we were far from that. Kendall Wright leads the team with most receiving yards with only 614 yards while far behind him was Josh Bellamy with 376 and these numbers are just not going to cut it when you are trying to form a team around a young quarterback. Fortunately for Chicago, the running back situation was our saving grace as they were 16th in the league in rushing with 1788 yards, 1122 of those yards being Jordan Howard. The big question in a situation like this is, do you take a free agency wide receiver? One you have seen play in the NFL or do you take a receiver high up in the draft and mold him to fit your offense?
What you know, Free agency
At the moment there are several very reliable solid wide receivers available, this is before tags are placed and extensions are made but the majority will be up for grabs when the time comes. One of the main names that pops out to me is Sammy Watkins, we all know what Watkins is capable of and he is only 25, that is one of the key factors we need to base this decision around. The Bears are working on a young team and building this team for years to come, so we need a receiver that is young and has a lot of time left out on the field. Sammy had 1,047 yards his second year in Buffalo but followed that by a mediocre year and was then sent to the Rams where he wasn’t able to produce much at all. I personally think he still has a lot in him and with the right offense and coaching Watkins can flourish. Another name that stands out is Jarvis Landry; you won’t find many receivers more durable than him, also only 25, Landry did not miss a game and caught 400 passes in his first 4 years with the Dolphins, more than any other WR in their first four years. He has over 4000 yards and 22 touchdowns in those four years. The Dolphins do have the opportunity to give him an extension but Jarvis may want to play for a team that is confident in their long-term starting quarterback. A few other names floating around that aren’t as appealing because of money or age are Allen Robinson, Terrelle Pryor and Larry Fitzgerald.
And with the 8th pick of the 2018 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears select
This option seems a little more appealing to me, I like the idea of drafting a young guy and letting him and Trubisky form that relationship of two young kids building a team and taking it somewhere. In most mock drafts I have seen the Baltimore Ravens taking Calvin Ridley from Alabama, although I would love for the Bears to snatch him. Ridley had 967 yards and four touchdowns in 2017, his production was said to be overshadowed a bit by Alabama using Jalen Hurts the running quarterback as their weapon. The main worry that teams have about Ridley is his small frame, he weighs in at 190 pounds but sources say he has been hit under 180 at certain times in his college career. The kid has speed which could factor in huge for a team who could possibly be a triple threat. Many mock drafts I have seen don’t even have the Bears taking a receiver but the ones that do have them taking Courtland Sutton from SMU. Sutton had 68 catches for 1,085 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2017. Sutton decided to skip his final year to enter the NFL draft which many call a wise decision on his part. Courtland seems to be a scoring machine; even in his 2015 season when SMU got trampled on by Baylor he still had 82 yards and two touchdowns. This is just what the Bears need, touchdowns. With the defense playing in a little heavier recently than they have in the last few years, being able to come in and throw points on the scoreboard is huge. Trubisky is ready to have someone to throw to in the end zone.
Obviously, at this point in time, nobody knows what will happen, if they free agency will be our go-to or we trade up again and surprise the nation with some off the wall pick that ends up working out. Either way, there is a ton of talent out there, in the league and even more entering the NFL this year. The Chicago Bears have to decide where they want to put their money and figure out how to turn this team into a powerhouse on both sides of the ball. I know I am not the only one who is tired of watching a one-sided football team every other season.