Bears should look for more receivers
With go-to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery locked up for 2016 with the franchise tag and go-to-guy-of-the-future, 2015 first-round pick Kevin White, presumed healthy after missing all of last season, the Bears are set at wide receiver.
At least for now.
"He's training on his own," Bears GM Ryan Pace said of White, regarding the rehab from his surgery for stress fractures. "He's progressing well. He'll be full speed for the off-season program. We're really excited about him, and I know he's got a lot of confidence and a big smile on his face and ready to show everybody what he can do."
White's combination of size, speed, hands and run-after-the-catch ability could make him a premier player for 10 years. But, if Jeffery doesn't show more durability than he did while missing seven games last season with an assortment of injuries, he may not be a Bear for long.
The same injury concerns exist with Marquess Wilson and Eddie Royal. Wilson flashed in 2015 (28 catches, 464 yards, 16.6 yards per catch) but missed five games with a foot injury. Royal missed seven games (ankle, knee) and averaged just 6.4 yards on his 37 receptions.
So, while there isn't an immediate need for wide receiver help, there could be down the road.
Chances are White would be the top-rated wideout in this draft, which doesn't include the abundance of talented pass-catchers that the past two drafts did.
But the talent pool at wide receiver hasn't evaporated, and it's led by Laquon Treadwell, who was the No. 5 recruit in the country on Rivals.com coming out of South Suburban Crete-Monee H.S.
The 6-foot-2, 221-pound Treadwell possesses everything scouts look for in a wide receiver with the exception of great speed. He didn't run at the Scouting Combine but clocked a 4.63 40 at Mississippi's pro day. That would be a poor number for many wide receivers, but not for someone as big, strong, tough and talented as Treadwell, who plays more like a 4.43 guy on the football field.
Treadwell gets knocked for his lack of speed a lot, maybe because there really aren't any other flaws in his game.
"The questions don't really bother me," he said. "I still have to go out there and play and have the production on the field. I don't let it get to me. I'll run what I run and just stay confident in myself."
Despite having to recover from a gruesome fractured fibula/ankle near the end of the 2014 season, Treadwell came back last season to catch 82 passes for 11 touchdowns and an SEC-best 1,153 yards.
Treadwell has always had a passion for the game, but when it was taken away by the only serious injury he's ever suffered, it made him realize even more how important the game is to him. It challenged him, and he believes it made him stronger.
"Mentally, I just feel like I can overcome anything," Treadwell said. "It made me appreciate the game more and made me want to work harder, continue to get better, continue to push myself to a new level. I don't take the game for granted."
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