Chicago Sun-Times

Wideout way out of range for Bears now after Heyward-Bey flies in 40

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Darrius Heyward-Bey virtually sprinted himself out of consideration for the Bears today.

The Maryland wide receiver blazed through the 40-yard dash at the combine in 4.30 seconds, the fastest time of any receiver on the day and tied for the second fastest by a receiver at the combine since 2000. Any hope the Bears had of being able to consider him with the 18th pick in the first round looks to be gone in 4.3 seconds.

In fact, it was pretty good times all around on the day for the position group that the Bears has to be keeping a close eye on. A couple other receivers had strong performances and might be worth considering a little later on in the draft.

*** Ohio State's Brian Robiskie answered questions about his speed when the 6-3, 210-pounder ran the 40 in 4.51 seconds. His vertical jump of 37.5 inches was ninth among wideouts. He was fifth in the three cone drill in 6.72 seconds and eighth in the 20-yard shuttle.

*** Rutgers wide receiver Kenny Britt impressed on the bench press putting up 23 reps at 225 pounds, second for the position behind only Brooks Foster of North Carolina, who had 27. Britt did well in the broad jump and his 4.48 time in the 40 was a boost for the 6-3, 218-pounder.

*** Ole Miss' Mike Wallace turned some heads at the Senior Bowl and continued to build momentum for himself. His 4.33 time in the 40 was second to only Heyward-Bey. He tied for first in the broad jump and is a climber at this point.

*** Penn State's Derrick Williams will surely want to run again at his pro day. His 4.58 time in the 40 was significantly slower than expected and one of the few real letdowns of the day. He's reportedly been battling the flu lately and he'll need to improve this time to avoid doubts creeping in.

*** How about this? New England coach Bill Belichick, a hard man to find at the combine most years, chatted for about 20 minutes. One of the topics he covered? The evolution of the safety position, something the Bears are a little behind the time with.

"I think that the safety position is becoming more and more of a corner position in the National Football League,'' Belichick said. "There were times when some of the safeties, particularly the strong safeties, fit more almost like linebackers than they did as defensive backs. I think that's changed gradually, but now to the point where your defensive backs a lot of times either have to cover wide receivers or they have to cover tight ends who are very, very good in the passing game, not little guys that are running five-yard hook routes and stuff like that.

"The tight ends in the league, which it seems like just about every team has one, can get downfield, make athletic and acrobatic catches and get open and beat tight coverage. I think the demands of that position have changed, and I think that has changed the evaluation a little bit. So maybe some of those hybrid guys that have played corner, have played safety, like [Ohio State cornerback Malcolm] Jenkins, for example, is a guy that's played both, what his best fit will be for a team, where he would be most valuable is certainly an interesting discussion for all teams.''

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said Saturday that it would be premature to call free safety a "need'' for the Bears because of the presence of Craig Steltz, the fourth-round pick from 2008 who scouts billed as strictly a strong safety.

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"Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said Saturday that it would be premature to call free safety a "need'' for the Bears because of the presence of Craig Steltz, the fourth-round pick from 2008 who scouts billed as strictly a strong safety."

If Angelo cannot see the GLARING need for a free safety then he's as clueless and inept as many have painted him. So what is a "need" for this team? Do we need another lineman with a bad back? How about a runningback with no work ethic? Ooo, ooo, ooo how about a DE and LB who couldn't play dead?

Maybe it's that all-important QB position Angelo told us was so important. You know the one where Chicago hasn't used a draft pick on in 4 years?

// Here is the pulse Jerry.
// Here is your finger far from the pulse jammed up your arse.

Robiskie looked great...Pat White caught a couple recievers off-guard w/ his throws. Wish we had the luxury of really considering him in the 2nd or 3rd

Why is Bey out of consideration at 18? Last year not one reciever went in the first round, not one. While this years class is better, it's not as good as some people think. Ahead of Bey are Crabtree and Maclin. Maclinc didn't run because he got hurt but was clearly the best reciever participating. When he runs at his Pro Day he will be right there with Bey in terms of speed. Bey has always been fast, but his rout running is garbage and he has terrible hands, he drops between 20-25% of his passes. Thats horrible. Britt will climb up the boards and is a better prospect than Bey, he is not as fast but he has better size and runs nice routs, his hands are only a little better than Bey's. Crab and Maclin are going to go 1-2 but I bet Maclin, Bey and Brit are all there when the Bears draft. How many teams above them have a major need at WR? Besides Fitz just proved it's not about speed, the guy ran a 4.68 at the combine when he was drafted.

Unless the Bears take Maclin I see him going to TB and I see Bey going to BAL. To many other glaring needs for a lot of team, for them to get flashy and reach for a reciever. Recievers are almost like luxery picks.
17. NYJ have Coles and Cotchery
16. SD has Jackson and Gates There gonna trade with MIN
15. TEX has a guy by the name of Andre Johnson, remember him?
14. NO don't even need to go here
13. WAS Moss and Cooley
12. DEN Royal and Marshal
11. BUF Evans needs another reciever but need a DT and DE a lot more
10. SF Morgan is gonna be good, Team needs line help and a RLB
9. GB Jennings and Driver nuff said
8. JAC Needs a reciever, but needs a LT and DT more Trade with KC
7. OAK Insert Mike Crabtree here or Maclin
6. CIN Johnson and they drafted Caldwel for a reason
5. CLE Edwards
4. SEA Needs a reciever and Crabtree could go here. CB and LT
3. KC Bowe and Gonzalez
2. STL Need a WR but need a LT a lot more, Jason Smith
1. DET No more recievers

Bey or Maclin can easily be sitting there at 18. Not that the Bears will take one of them. But they could be there easily. Brad don't get excited if Maclin drops Angelo is just waiting to crush your hopes and dreams.

Church your right man, I don't understand the remarks about Steltz at all. Yes he's a safety but beyond that obvious conclusion where does Jerry even remotely come up with the idea of him helping us out at the free safety spot. It's obvious that Craig is a natural strong safety, who when he got his opportunities didn't perform overly well. He had the one interception I'll give him that, but he struggled mightely on every other occasion. He might not ever even give us a starting strong safety in the future let alone be a free. He is the furthest thing from a starting free safety you could get, and Jerry suddenly thinks that he can fit the bill. Hell, Cameron Worrell is a better idea at free safety than Steltz and he actually does play exceptionally on special teams, and has more range and experience their. I think it's pretty obvious that with Manning playing the nickel spot we not only have no free safety to compete, we have absolutly NO free safety on the entire roster! Why hide from that fact? I would try and pick up Eugene Wilson who just played under Coach Hoke in Houston and draft someone no later than the mid rounds. It's not diffucult, just don't make it seem like the problem doesn't exist, were all smarter than that.

Let some other team reach for Heyward-Bey. From the tape I've seen a trade down so we can snatch up Nicks or Britt is the way to go. Jerry Rice ran a 4.6 40. Chad Johnson ran a 4.55. Here's hoping the Bears are basing their decision on GAME TAPE and not useless combine numbers. I want football players - not just great testers. Who needs a team of John Thierry's ?

Bey might turn out to be great, but if I'm going to roll the dice in the first on a WR (and history suggests it is a roll of the dice), I'd much rather take a chance on a guy with premier production and a sketchy combine that the reverse.

Creighton good point about the WR's still being available. Everyone gets excited about the 40 times, but it's the quickness in and out of cuts that is more importtant. Look at Fitzgerald great hands, great leaping, can sell moves, cuts quickly and uses his body to gain position. He is not noted for being fast in the 40.

I hope the WR's get lots of hype. The Bears need O-Line above all else. They can look for a WR at 2 or 3. If nobody is blocking up front how do you get the ball to the WR?

I was thinking it might be Britten in the 1st rd, but he has very short arms second only to Loadholt and did not lift all that well.

Maybe Beatty or a trade down to get more players. Another one to watch climb the board is Meredith.

Creighton, I want to start by saying that I enjoy reading your posts and you always bring excellent analysis to it. However I do see some flaws in your rational listing the teams who will not take a WR in the 1st round. When you listed KC, Wash and SD, you listed 1 WR and 1 TE. With the league evolving more into a pass first league year after year, not only are teams trying to get a 2nd receiver to go along with their stud #1 receiver, they are trying to get a 3rd WR as well! Teams like the Colts, Saints, Patriots, Broncos, Chargers, etc... are going with 3 WR sets to go a long with a TE. That is the reason you are seeing the slow death of the Fullback in todays game. Now don't get my wrong, I don't necessarily think any of those teams will take a WR in round 1, but I simply wanted to make an observation about your argument.

This WR class is looking to be a very strong one and all the teams know it. So if a team who is drafting in front of us is torn between WR and DE, they are almost certainly going to go with the DE because the position is much thinner and that team is more likely to get a WR in the 2nd round than a DE in round 2. Something we see every year is players' stock skyrocketing after the combine and this year is no different. Darrius Hayward-Bey is a prime example of this. Does anybody remember Troy Williamson a couple years ago? Sure he can run fast and jump out of the building, but his route-running is embarrassing and he might have better luck catching the ball with ping-pong paddles than he does with his hands! There are a lot of positions where athleticism is the most important fact (RB and DE come to mind) However WR is not one of those positions! Why do you think we rarely see WR make a huge impact early in their careers? Because they are learning how to be a WR in the NFL!!! Earl Bennett is the all time SEC leading receiver with over 200 career catches at Vandy, but he couldn't even catch 1 with the Bears! Trust me I understand that he didn't get much of a chance and I'm not trying to know Bennett because I actually like him and could see him being a factor at the position for us this year. I'm simply trying to make a point that athleticism is not the only thing that makes a WR.

I see all of these speed WRs blowing up the combine (DHB, Harvin, Wallace, Thomas, etc) and its excites me. Not because I think we will take one of them, but because I know that teams like Wash, Oak, Dallas, etc will fall in love with their speed and take them way too high. The 3 guys that I think will be the best for the Bears are 1. Brian Robiskie 2. Hakeen Nicks 3. Kenny Brit. All three of these guys run fluid routes, are more than sufficiently fast, catch everything that comes their way, are big and strong, and most importantly they are all character guys who will not turn into a TO or Ocho Stinko. The more guys that blow it up at the combine the better our chances are at landing one of these guys with the 50th pick in the draft.

Super Bowl Shuffle, thats the point though, it's a need but not a huge need, you got a couple of recievers on your team, but taking one when you only generated 17 sacks doesn't make a lot of sense when Brown, Curry, and Orakpo are there, it also doesn't make sense to grab a second or third reiciver when you gave 40+ sacks and your LT is 35. My point is most of the teams ahead of the Bears have much biggger needs. It's not that they don't need a reciever or an upgrade, but they need other things more. Then there is the talent level, none of these guys not even Crabtree is a Fitz or Andrea Johnson. Unless a reciever or RB is super elite, I don't think they belong in round one. Plenty of great recievers and RB come in later rounds.

The Problems with Robiskie, Nicks and Britt is that none of them are game breakers. The will be decent enough Pro's probably but they are more like TJ and Moose, and the Bears really need an impact player. Like if Curry fell to the Bears some how some way, you could not stop me from drafting, cause he is an impact player. The things the Bears are missing on both sides of the ball is impact.

I'm with you Texasjim, Robiskie looked GREAT at the combine. Living in AZ.,I had'nt heard much about him, but he looks like the real thing. Being a NFL coach's son should speed up his learning curve. Creighton, I understand your thoughts on this subject, Robiskie may not be a "gamebreaker", but caught EVERYTHING thrown at him. He may be there in the second round, and besides, would you rather see a weak armed Orton throwing to stone hands Davis for another season ? The Bears need a GOOD possesion reciever, Hester will provide the speed. A.Boldin isn't exactly a "burner", but we'd all like to him in Navy blue and orange, would'nt we ?

Is there any way the Bears can make a front office trade, say Jerry Angelo to New England for Belichick, and the Bears can sweeten it up by offering 3 7th rd. picks ?

i agree w/ the need for a possession receiver...one with hands. we all know that pass protection is suspect and that Orton does not have a huge arm, this highlights the need for a sure handed receiver (preferably w/ size). being a UNC guy myself (Go Heels!) and watching him dominate (all time leading receiver as a Jr...and he was the second option for much of the year when Brandon Tate was dominating), I'd love to see Nicks...but ill agree w/ the likes of Creighton that it doesnt make sense for the Bears to go WR w/ the o-line needs. we nagged all last year (and during the regular season) about our suspect oline. go ahead and draft a tackle in round one and take a chance w/ a WR later.

speaking of taking a chance. Brandon Tate was on his was to ACC POY honors before tearing up his knee. He'd def be someone to look out for late in the draft and/or as a unsigned free agent. Assuming he can come back healthy (i know nothing of his progress) the dude'll be a steal late in the draft.

i love this time of year.

lolol whiskey roflmao
no da..... we needs those 7th round picks for Offensive linemen that will never play! doh never mind - New England will have all those Developmental Olinemen with that trade I guess.

Creighton you are absolutely right that if Currey would make a hell of an impact on our team but we can easily see that he will not fall that far, in fact he is almost a lock to be a top 5 pick. When it comes to adding an impact guy on the offensive side of the ball, its gonna have to be a tackle this year. Lets face it guys there is no way around drafting a starting caliber right tackle this year. Without a solid offensive line it's not gonna matter who Orton has to throw the ball to.

Now as for Robiskie, Nicks and Britt not being "impact" receivers. Kenny Britt finished this past season with 87 receptions for 1371 yards and 7 TDs. Hakeem Nicks had 68 receptions for 1222 yards and 12 TDs. Meanwhile Robiskie even managed to produce 42 catches for 535 yards with 8 TDs while playing in an offense with a true freshman rushing QB who frankly did not throw the ball very well. When I'm looking for "impact" at the WR position I would think that players who can catch the ball and make TDs would fit the criteria. I dont' know about your but I would consider 27 combined TDs as an "impact." Just because a player doesn't blow it up at the combine doesn't mean that they won't make an "impact." Would you say that Larry Fitzgerald and his 4.65 40 time at the combine is an impact player? What about Anquan Boldin who was drafted in the 2nd round? Greg Jennings, Steve Smith, Roddy White, Reggie Wayne, Brandon Marshall, etc all drafted outside of the 1st round because people didn't think they would be "impact" players. That's not even to mention 3 rookie WRs (Avery, Royal and DeSean Jackson) who were all drafted in the second round last year and all had significant impact. Do you think that teams would like to go back to those drafts knowing what they know about those players now? Like I said before, these 3 receivers are the real deal and they would most certainly provide an "impact" to whichever teams drafts them. Lets make sure we get 1 of them.

Shuffler's dead on but I doubt Robiskie falls to the Bears in the second round now since he "blew up" the workout portion of the combine by literally catching every ball thrown to him, including a sick 1-hander as he was diving outta bounds. But there was also a buzz from all the teams he interviewed with saying he had a tremendous understanding of the game at the next level, obviously his dad being an NFL wideout coach helps a touch on that front. Don't be surprised if he sneaks into the bottom of the first round or at worst the top of the second once, as Creighton pointed out, certain teams address more pressing needs in round one.

I think DHB would fit in the Bears system really well, we learned last yr we need better WR. size and speed. hes got it. seems like a nice guy to, hes got this website if you want to learn more about him imatopprospect.com.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 22, 2009 7:01 PM.

Combine notebook: Saturday's movers and the status of Vasher was the previous entry in this blog.

What's in a number? More misses than hits at No. 18 is the next entry in this blog.

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