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updated: 4/14/2013 2:07 PM

Bears could use grab wideout later in draft

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  • Brandon Marshall had 39 more receptions than ever other Bears wideout combined last season.

      Brandon Marshall had 39 more receptions than ever other Bears wideout combined last season.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer


In his first year with the Bears, Brandon Marshall turned in the best receiving season in franchise history.

That's the extent of the good news.

No one else emerged as a functional complement to Marshall, whose 118 receptions were 39 more than every other wide receiver on the team combined.

His 1,508 yards were 490 more than the total of the other wideouts.

Alshon Jeffery (24 catches, 367 yards) showed flashes as a rookie, but the second-round pick was sidetracked by a broken hand and later a sprained knee, missing six games. Earl Bennett (29 catches, 375 yards) remains a reliable possession receiver when healthy, but he, too, suffered from injuries (hand, concussion).

Devin Hester's days as a member of the regular WR rotation appear to be over. His role will be primarily as a return specialist. Eric Weems is mostly a special teams player and Joe Anderson, an undrafted rookie, spent most of the season on the practice squad.

Neither Marshall nor Jeffery has the extra gear to stretch the field, and with Johnny Knox unable to come back from a spine injury and Hester being phased out, there is a need for speed.

That could be addressed on draft weekend, even if the Bears don't use their first-round pick on a pass catcher. There is a decent crop of undersized blazers who could be available on the second and third days.

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