Chicago Sun-Times

Catching on? Drafting a wide receiver in 1st round no sure fix

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The Bears have a need for a wide receiver for this coming season.

They have a need for two wide receivers and never has the need been more apparent then after watching Super Bowl XLIII.

But drafting one in the first round is no guarantee to solve the problem, a fact we touched on a little bit in today's paper. While spending much of our Monday in the airport, we did a little research on the wide receivers drafted in the first round since 2000. It's a scary bunch. General manager Jerry Angelo has said before that's where you have to go to find an elite receiver. The problem is everybody has found a lot of non-elite receivers too. This isn't just a situation where the Detroit Lions swing and miss seeking a wideout at the top of the draft.

Thirty-seven wide receivers have been drafted in the first round since 2000. By our count, nine have been named to the Pro Bowl. The list:




Calvin Johnson
Ted Ginn Jr.
Dwayne Bowe
Robert Meachem
Craig Davis
Anthony Gonzalez


Santonio Holmes


Braylon Edwards 1 Pro Bowl
Troy Williamson
Mike Williams
Matt Jones
Mark Clayton
Roddy White 1 Pro Bowl


Larry Fitzgerald 3 Pro Bowls
Roy Williams 1 Pro Bowl
Reggie Williams
Lee Evans
Michael Clayton
Michael Jenkins
Rashaun Woods


Charles Rogers
Andre Johnson 3 Pro Bowls
Bryant Johnson


Donte Stallworth
Ashley Lelie
Javon Walker 1 Pro Bowl


David Terrell, Bears
Koren Robinson 1 Pro Bowl
Rod Gardner
Santana Moss 1 Pro Bowl
Freddie Mitchell
Reggie Wayne 3 Pro Bowls


Peter Warrick
Plaxico Burress
Travis Taylor
Sylvester Morris
R. Jay Soward

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Wow! I totally agree the Bears do need a wr, but hasn't that been the case since well........forever. I am currently 40 years old and I don't ever remember them having a WR, and please don't tell me Gualt or Berrian or Booker. Maybe thats because in the same span we have never had a QB. How can you not have a franchise QB in thirty years? What scares me about the bears is their recent drafts. How do you go 3-13 draft a WR in the 2nd round and he does not have a catch for the whole season not to mention he couldn't beat out the journey men wr's in front of him. Anybody seen Bazuin or Owko? How about we establish dominant OL's, DL's and LB's and go from there!!!!!!!! Did I mention the cover 2 sucks, I mean c'mon we win the ATL game and we are in the playoffs, but no we get in the cover 2 and presto chango 1 play and the falcons are in fg position.We made Collins look like montana just eating up the secondary. The secondary is a whole story entirely. Have they considered drafting a CB, SS OR fs that can cover one on one? Why not move Tillman to Browns spot? What the Bears need to do is trade for some draft choices. Although Briggs and Hillenmeyer are a good player they are not playmakers nobody worries about them rushing the QB. Which could actually be said about 90% of the defense. Gut it and rebuild. Orton did a decent job and he is definitely not the reason we didn't make the playoffs. Most great teams(not good)build through the draft. Why spend 10 mil a year on a 38 year old QB(Warner) or a DE (peppers) when you have so many holes to fill. Dangle some of your assets and see what you can get for them because quick fixes almost never end up in SB rings. Lastly is it me or is DE Anderson big enough to be a hybrid LB,DE, maybe if we draft a decent LB we can run a 3/4........sometimes


Look at the second round and my guess is you will find the success rate doesn't drop off that much from the first.

Almost every year there is a very good wide receiver available when the Bears draft in the second round. Trick is to pick the right one. Basically it's a crapshoot in either round.

The WR position is the most OVERrated position in all of sports! Stop with all of this WR crap and start focusing on the QB. It all starts with the QB, not the WR! What good is two or three hall of fame WRs on the team if the QB sucks or is on his back before he can throw the ball? Start with the QB then continue on the O-line. I'm a big fan of Chris Williams and know he is going to be good.

I want to see the Bears use their first round pick on a QB, O-lineman or a DE.

Using the 1st round pick on a WR is a big gamble. See above

If Angelo said, "the first round is where have to go to find an elite receiver," and the Bears sign a free agent tackle during the free agency period like, Jordan Gross or Vernon Carey, I can see the Bears using a first round pick on a receiver. The only receiver I can see the Bears taking at #18 is Missouri's Jeremy Maclin if he's even available. I also realize the first round has put out a lot of bust at receiver, i.e. David Terrell #8 overall in 2001, but I really think this Maclin kid is the real deal. Maclin has nice size 6-1 200lbs for the position, he's fast, as in 4.3 fast, and Maclin is polished, meaning he actually knows the position, unlike a lot of other 1st round receivers who went high in the draft based solely on their speed. Maclin has had back to back 1000yd receiving years, 2007 1,055yds & 2008 1,221yds. Also, Maclin is an all-purpose threat, that means not just receiving, but rushing, and as a return man, Maclin had 2,833 all purpose yards this season. Chicago is in dire need of any kind of talent [a playmaker] at receiver right now, and Maclin might be to talented to leave on the board if he is there at #18 GO BEARS!!

Nizeguy, your right on regarding building from the inside out. You have to have those players for the others to be effective, and normally they are a lot more predictable than the skill players. Also there are a lot more players in the 6' 200lb range that can play in the NFL than there are 6'5" 300lb players. so the top of your draft should be spent on the big guys. I also agree in trading down. In every draft there are surprises and there are busts and you cover yourself by having as many draft choices as possible. The bottom line is that trading up and losing choices is stupid and trading down and gaining choices is smart.

You can't go wrong with a receiver from Wide Receiver U, otherwise known as THE Ohio State University. This year's SB MVP, Santonio Holmes, is a Buckeye. Chris Carter, Terry Glenn, Joey Gallaway and David Boston were all productive. Add Anthony Gonzalez and Ted Ginn to the list. Why do I mention this? Because Brian Robiskie, a kid with great bloodlines and great heart, should be there in the second round. Take him Bears. You can't go wrong. If you don't, I guarantee you some team that knows what it's doing, like Indy or NE or Pittsburgh, will. Why? Because you can never have too many playmakers with heart, that's why. Guys who will go through a wall to make a play. How many of those can you name on the Bears? Any wide receivers like that come to mind?

And while you're at it, take Mark Sanchez in the first round. He'll be there. If Orton is your guy, he has a year to prove it. Don't just talk the talk about QBs, walk the friggin' walk. One mock board has Indy taking Sanchez. Indy! And they HAVE A QB!

It doesn't matter who you line up at receiver if you don't have a QB that can consistently get the ball there-- plain and simple! Fitzgerald and Boldin are great and Breaston is a star in the making, but if Warner doesn't deliver (specially against the blitz) like he did, they are nowhere! And no great Wrs will come to Chicago if they don't have a QB that can get them the rock anyway.

Now, can Orton be a better QB with better wr's? Jury is still out on that one but adding Boldin could clear up that question quickly. He is there for the taking pay the price Bears!

Let's also bear in mind that many of these guys take time to develop. Very few of them run any kind of sophisticated offense in college, so their transition to sight adjustments and hot routes are not always easy. Names on this list who are potential stars who have not been to a Pro Bowl are:

Calvin Johnson
Dwayne Bowe
Santonio Holmes
Lee Evans

Other guys who will have decent careers:
Anthony Gonzalez
Ted Ginn Jr.
Mark Clayton

16 out of 37 turning out ok? Not great odds, but probably not too far out of whack with the other positions. You just cannot expect them to be studs right out of the gate. Too much is changing for them. Running backs still have basically the same job....hit the hole, move forward. Defensive ends have basically the same job...get the QB, tackle the ballcarrier..>Wide receivers have a tough transition, as evidenced by Earl Bennett's transition to the NFL. As long as we understand that it takes time (Steve Smith was barely average as a WR his first couple of years) to develop, we will be ok.

Maclin, Crabtree, Heyward-Bey are all solid players. Will they all work out? Possibly, but recent history says only 1 of the three will turn out good. I would think all three of these guys will be solid, and Crabtree has the chance to be another Boldin, and Maclin could be Ocho Cinco without the baggage. Haven't seen enough of Heyward Bey to make a comparison. As long as we do like Kevin suggests and solve the OL problem in Free agency, we can take a shot at a playmaker on offense in round 1. Assuming we get Maclin, having an arsenal of Hester, Maclin, Forte, and Olsen would make Kyle Orton a happy camper.

Or god forbid, we make a move and trade our first rounder next year to get 2 fixtures for the future this year in round 1. A WR and a DE would look awfully nice. Maybe Philly or Detroit would part with their second first rounder to get into the derby next year for Colt McCoy or Sam Bradford. We could get two birds with one stone, and offer up one of our vets as part of the deal, like Ogunleye or Vasher...It could work, but in all likelihood will not happen.

There is bust potential at every position, during every draft. There are plenty of 1st round QBs, DEs, RBs and OTs that are watching the games on TV every Sunday, just like us. Saying the Bears shouldn't draft a WR in the first round (based upon a very immature David Terrell) is like saying we shouldn't draft a QB in the first round based upon Rex Grossman's error-prone ways. You have to fully vet these guys - gauge their talent level, maturity, selflessness and ability to fit the scheme.

Relying on the defense every year is great, but we need an offense that can consistently put points on the board and keep the D on the sidelines for more than 25 minutes a game. Now that we have a competent QB and a very good RB, draft an excellent receiver to replace Berrian (either Harvin or Maclin) in the 1st round.

i think the bears should try to get jordan gross, antonio bryant and a QBto chanllenge orton like maybe kyle boller or J.P. losman through free agency then draft heywood-bey,depending on how the draft goes they could trade down get DHB and aquire an extra pick,that would give them a WR corp of hester,,bryant,bennett,DHB,then they can find,a good DB,and move tillman to saftey,then draft a DE,some depth for the O -line and another WR prospect in late rounds

By MsBearsFan on February 3, 2009 8:18 AM

"Look at the second round and my guess is you will find the success rate doesn't drop off that much from the first."

"Almost every year there is a very good wide receiver available when the Bears draft in the second round. Trick is to pick the right one. Basically it's a crapshoot in either round."

Brad did post the second round and there is a nice big drop off. It must suck to be wrong about everything all the time. How do you live with yourself? Maybe you shouldn't go around insulting people who are usually right, if favor of the terrible wrongness which is your judgment.

Hey Brad who was throwing to the recievers in the Super Bowl? WR is real popular, but the consistantly competative teams all seem to have one thing in common. A real good QB. Maybe it is Orton, I don't think so, but maybe it is him. But if he still can't hit a guy deep, struggles with audibles and continues too throw picks like he did in the second half then he is not the guy. On a rare ocassion you get your Dilfer, McMahon and Johnson's. But most of the time it's Elway, Montana, Favre, Brady, Warner, Roethlisberger, Aikman, Kelly, Bradshaw, Tarkenton, Staubach, Star, Unitas, Bob Griese, Thiesman, Plunkett, thats most of the QB's that have won the Super bowl or have been there multiple times.

The Bears have a ton of needs to fill all they need to do in the first round is take the best player available. Don't reach for someone, don't draft for a single position. Take the best player available like all the good teams do. If it's and End a QB, WR, LB, OL, S, it doens't matter cause they are all huge needs. As for a QB they will just draft the wrong guy no matter what they do until they get there head out of there ### and Angelo is still with the team.

just finally saw that Nicks kid outta UNC...very impressive, hope he's around in the 2nd round. I wouldn't blow a first round choice on a WR unless Crabtree spirals.
I'm sticking w/ Robinson from OU as our first rd pick..The dude was a top 5 entering the season in all the pre-drafts I saw...then to wind up @ brainer!!!

we are 2 yrs away from the bowl....gotta address the o-line!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 3, 2009 6:06 AM.

List of players invited to the combine released was the previous entry in this blog.

Wide receivers a roll of the dice in Round 2 as well is the next entry in this blog.

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