There is more to wide receiver Jerome Simpson than a small school background that makes him comparable to Marty Booker.
Simpson, from Coastal Carolina, has some huge mitts like the veteran Booker, who the Bears brought back earlier this month to help solidify the receiver position. Booker, who went to Louisiana-Monroe, has used his large hands and long arms to put together a nice nine-year career.
The Bears are in the market to draft some more help and sent receivers coach Darryl Drake to put Simpson through a workout earlier this month.
The 6-2, 199-pound Simpson had an impressive combine workout when he had the best broad jump among receivers at 11 feet, four inches and the seventh-best 40 time in 4.47 seconds. Simpson had a vertical jump of 41 1/2 inches last week at his pro day. The knock on him had been that he wasn’t fast enough (something Booker has heard) but his 40 time would seem to answer questions about his speed.
Now, only the competition Simpson faced is in question. He holds the Big South Conference career record for receiving yardage (2,340) and set single-season marks as a junior in 2006 with 1,077 yards and 16 touchdowns. An unsettled quarterback situation this past season kept his numbers as a senior down. He’s projected most places as a third-round draft pick. That’s the round Booker was drafted in back in 1999.
Smith met with Razorbacks defensive tackle Marcus Harrison. He’s an intriguing prospect who has good lateral quickness and played last season not long after coming off a torn ACL in spring ball. Harrison, 6-3, 312 pounds, was a second team all-SEC performer. He had a 29-inch vertical jump at the pro day.
Check back Tuesday for a a look at a few other tackles that might be intriguing to the Bears.
*** Smith was also impressed by Arkansas cornerback Matterral Richardson, a source said. Richardson doesn’t run real well, but he’s a physical performer who is rugged against the run and possesses good instincts. He could be a solid cover two corner and a strong special teams performer. He’s viewed as a potential late-round pick.
*** Agent Chad Speck sent a letter to all 32 general managers regarding Oklahoma wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, who is highly regarded but has yet to work out because of a quad injury.
Speck moved to dispel any rumors circulating about his client and attached a letter from Dr. Michael F. Hatrak, who has worked with numerous NFL players, to support information that Kelly had a ``slight quadriceps tear’’ which is now fully healed. Hatrak stated there is no further damage, and Kelly will work out April 9 at Oklahoma with former Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch serving as his quarterback.
Kelly is considered a first-round pick but teams have been waiting to see what he can do.
*** The Bears were one of 10 teams represented at the Arkansas State pro day today, according to Arkansas360.com.