Chicago Sun-Times

UPDATED Terps fever: WR Heyward-Bey dazzles at Maryland pro day

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We've gotten a late start on our review of the pro day action today, other than our item on Alabama left tackle Andre Smith earlier this afternoon. Sometimes actual football news gets in the way of digging around.

There were a couple big ones today with Oklahoma State, Maryland, Tennessee and as we mentioned Alabama all holding workout sessions for their draft-eligible players. These are big sessions that most every NFL team is going to cover, so we're not unearthing anything real surprising here. It's not believed the Bears were at Oklahoma State.

*** At Maryland, wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey reportedly put on a show in positional drills. One guy to keep an eye on there is guard Jamie Thomas. The Bears are believed to be keeping an eye on him, and they're certainly monitoring Heyward-Bey.

*** Southeastern scout Mark Sadowski made the trip from Auburn to hated rival Alabama and saw Smith's workout. It will be interesting to see how safety Rashad Johnson gets some momentum moving forward. We had one quarterback coach tell us he liked quarterback John Parker Wilson because he has some moxie to his game.

*** It's believed Midwest scout Jeff Shiver was at the Kentucky pro day. Safety Marcus McClinton could be worth monitoring.

UPDATED

*** The Bears were also reportedly in attendance at BYU on Thursday, a duty that either fell to Marty Barrett or Teddy Monago. The Cougars had a couple of linemen worth looking at in tackle Dallas Reynolds and guards Travis Bright and Ray Feinga.

*** Enough draft speculating. If the Bears had not signed Josh Bullocks, or added a safety before the first minicamp practice Tuesday, it's a good bet Zack Bowman would have been forced into the role. The Bears would prefer to keep him at cornerback. But, hey, someone would have to line up at free safety, right?

*** We wrote earlier in the week that we expected the John St. Clair situation to be resolved by the end of the week and we're going to stick with that, although the calendar is working against us at this point.

*** And finally, we save a little nugget for last for those who have stuck with us all day and into the evening ... picked up an interesting note late Tuesday night, later than we wanted to return to blogland any way.

The $40 million, four-year extension defensive tackle Tommie Harris signed last summer includes an $8 million de-escalating roster bonus in the final year of the deal, 2012, that requires him to go to be a Pro Bowl selection every year and be on the field for 74 percent of the defensive snaps, a figure he's reached just once during his career. Obviously, Harris didn't hit it in year one, failing to be named to the all-star game or trigger the play-time clause.

According to records, Harris was on the field for 56 percent of the snaps last season, meaning he would have been well short of the number even if he had not missed the Philadelphia game with an injury and then been suspended the final week for the game at Detroit.

Thanks as always for reading. We'll see what turns up on Thursday.

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27 Comments

Heywar Bey is he a difference makerm should he be pick #18 is that a reach for im at that spot. It would be nice to have a real #1 target for Orton to complement Hester. Just think a real offense in Chicago.

Do you think?

Bey is little Willie Gualt, same type of player, blazing speed, but no hands and not very tough. I like Britt better to bad he thinks he is the next TO, I think he or Maclin will be the guys thats are the stars in this WR class. Don't know why but I have never liked Crabtree, I keep thinking he will have injury issues his whole career. Some people think Maclin is a young Tim Brown and Britt a young TO. Not sure if either will be that good, but if either comes close you got a damn fine reciever.

As for the Oline prospects most of them are 5th round or bellow type talent. Hope Angelo doesn't fall in love with Bey, I can't stand recievers with bad hands, kid dropped 20 percent or more of the passes thrown too him last year.

As for St. Clair being signed this week, well they Bears did free up some money from Metcalf. Still doesn't fix the line though. I still have a feeling Garza is gone this year and Buenning will start at RG. Thanks for the Bowman update, just what the Bears need more backup corners. If you want to see what NO fans are saying about the Bullocks trade go here: nola.com, sports section, saints, scroll down till you find the article. They all seem to hate him and are glad he is gone.

I still think Hakeem Nicks would be the better receiver for us in the first round. No he doesn't have Bey's blazing speed, BUT he has great hands, runs terrific routes, and is probably along with Crabtree the most NFL ready guy. He also has enough speed to threaten a secondary and would be and outstanding receiver to pair with Hester.

I read a report that said that Heyward Bey is a show horse, not a work horse...Not one to do what it takes to win...fight for the ball, block, et al. Who do we have who can get him the ball on a long downfield pass?

Heyward-Bey would be an awesome addition but for one problem.....He's too fast, Orton couldn't get him the ball.He can't throw it that far!! Just ask Hester! What good is a receiver with top notch speed on this team when the suck-a$$ QB can't get the ball to him?? We'd be better off getting another tight end!.......ORTON SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Dahli,

No he wouldn't. Bey is a straight-line runner with poor route running skills and is too soft to go accross the middle. He is Devin Hester minus the courage.

Chicago needs to find a big-bodied, intermediate threat with run-after-catch skills to compliment Hester. I think Britt (sans the attitude) would be a great fit; however, if Maclin is still on the board you would have to take him hands down.

Drafting a WR in the 1st rd is a big risk. Well over half of them do not pan out. The Bears need so much help at OL, DL, DB it doesn't make sense. Also, DE is not very deep this year and WR is pretty deep.

My bet is the Bears will draft
1st rd: DE
2nd rd: OT
3rd rd: FS
4th rd: WR

Brad, I know I'm beating a dead horse, but do you honestly think the Bears will be satisfied going into this season with the trio of QBs we now have? I'd like to see the Bears at least bring in one of the veteran FAs(Garcia, Leftwich, etc.) to take a look at and compete with Orton. We are now one play away from starting a player with zero playing time or very little if Basanez beats out Hanie. That's pretty scary! We were better off with Rex. He at least knew the playbook.

Heyward-Bey scares me. I watched a few Maryland games this past year and I did not see him catch a pass. He disappears in games. Thats not a difference maker and who cares about his speed if he can't get open!!! Beware of him!!!

Its all speculation right now, to me, the biggest indicator as far as what direction Chicago is gonna go in the draft all depends on where newly acquired lineman Frank Omiyale is lined up at, left guard or right tackle. We should learn a lot more next week during mini camp. If the Bears decide to line Omiyale up at right tackle, and like him there, Chicago probably goes wide receiver in round one, probably Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey, the Bears have been linked to him since the beginning of the off-season. And I've read Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake loves him. Although, if a playmaker like Missouri's Jeremy Maclin is available at #18, the Bears gotta take him, but I don't see Maclin falling to #18. Angelo said "we want to see Omiyale at guard first," but then in the same breath said, "were gonna check him out at tackle also." What was interesting to me is what head coach Lovie Smith said after the Omiyale signing, Smith said, "Omiyale played left tackle, so I don't see why he couldn't play right tackle." I have a feeling if St.Clair isn't signed by next week, Omiyale will be at right tackle. And I have another feeling that if Ole Miss tackle Michael Oher doesn't fall to #18, Omiyale stays at right tackle, just a hunch. Also, Chicago has been linked to a lot of guard prospects this off-season, from Eastern Michigans T.J Lang to Oregon's Max Unger, now their keeping a close eye on Maryland guard Jamie Thomas? Thats kind of weird for a team so thin at tackle, but has four guards, Beekman, Garza, Buenning, and Omiyale? Unless Omiyale is seen as a tackle, then the fact their checking out all these guard prospects doesn't seem so weird. Again, who knows for sure till next week? Another tell tale sign is the Bears cut receiver Marty Booker, and didn't resign Brandon Lloyd, thats two receivers, and Chicago has made no attempt to go after a free agent receiver, why? And receiver is a position of weakness, along with tackle and safety. The Bears signed Omiyale [maybe a tackle,] Bullocks [safety], but where's the receiver? Its hard for me to believe the Bears are gonna bring in a mid-round receiver to contribute, now I can see them going with a first rounder to add depth. Couple things Angelo said, "were lookig for starters at receiver." Jerry Angelo also once said, "the only way to get a #1 receiver is to draft one in the first," Darrrius Heyward-Bey anyone? To me, as of right now, its starting to look like receiver in round one, again, we'll learn a lot more next week during mini camp GO BEARS!!

Wide recievers are a dime-a-dozen. Imagine Orton, or any decent QB on this team, having all day to throw. They need to fix the OL. Then fix the DL. The defense gave up so many long pass plays last year because they weren't pressuring the QB. Watching the Texans game almost made me physically ill. It was downright sickening to watch. I hope Rod Marinelli can perform miracles this season because that's what it's going to take to fix their defensive line.

From watching DHB at the Combine, he is a body catcher for the most part. I don't know whether it is a product of his speed, where he didn't have defenders all over him, or he just doesn't have the strength in his hands to catch the ball away from his body, but that to makes him a bad choice for us. Someone will love his deep speed, but we need a guy that can do what TJ does: get open on 3rd and 10, make the tough catch in traffic, and make defenses pay for rolling coverage to Hester.

I have to watch more film on DHB, Maclin, Nicks, and Britt to see what their hands look like, but to me the best thing the Bears can do is look for a guy like Brian Robiskie in the second or third, especially if we trade back in round 1. Granted, Earl Bennett is supposed to be that kind of receiver, but since we will be running a lot of formations with 2 TEs on the field, we need guys who can run good routes and get open, and let Olsen stretch the opposite side from Hester...

So who is going to want to trade up to 18? Jerry is probably already lining up some ideas....Are the Giants going to use one of their stable of D-line guys to try and get up from 29? Maybe Kiwanuka now that Osi is coming back, and Tuck is a downright stud. They might want a replacement for Plax, or a legitimate linebacker for the strong side or middle. One of the 2 USC LBs could be there at 18, depending on how things fall. DHB should be there as well. Can we get more if we stay at 18 and take the WR or OT, or can we get a guy like Loadholt by moving back to 29 (not sure he will make it to 49), and getting a WR and G in 2 and 3 respectively, as well as getting a DE who is coming into his prime?

I think this draft is going to require a lot of creativity on Jerry's part, as we have a lot of holes, and even more weak links on this roster. I don't know that he has it in him. But we shall see if he has earned the right to be the GM of this team for the next 5 years, or if he and Lovie will be carpooling out of town after this season....

I made a mistake in my above blog, I said the Bears were linked to guard Max Unger of Oregon, I meant Oregon states's Andy Levitre. I've read on this site that the Bears had interest in both Eastern Michigan's T.J Lang, Oregon states Andy Levitre, and now Marylands Jamie Thomas. Thats three guard prospects that the Bears have been checking out, I just think its kind of weird for a team that already has four guards under contract that they like, unless Omiyale is seen as a tackle? Sorry for the mistake, again I meant Levitre, as always GO BEARS!!

As far as there are more busts at WR that is true and false. I did a quick look at first round picks from 2002-2005. If you made the Pro Bowl at least one year, then the pick is considered a good pick - otherwise it's a bust. This way I can stay completely objective in the study.

There were 13 first-round busts at WR which is the most at any single position. However, there were 19 WRs selected which is also the most at any position (insert "thanks to Matt Millen" here). So that gives us a "hit" performance of 6/19 or 31.6%. This puts it basically no worse off (statistically speaking) than any other position with the exception of Safety (4/8 for 50%).

The worst position(s) to try and land? OFFENSIVE LINE. The Tackle position has a "hit" preformance of 2/11 or 18.2%. Factor in Guard(1/3) and Center(0/2) and you have a "hit" performance of only 18.8%.

Granted this is a very small sample size at each position but it is something to consider before dismissing WR as too big of a risk. What you should keep in mind is that in 128 selections over 4 years, 40 of those went to at least 1 Pro Bowl (or 31.3%). If you use that as your starting mark, then picking a 1st-round, Pro-Bowl WR (31.6%) is no more or less risky than any other selection you could make.

// Obviously there is some schew to this because I didn't take into account one-hit wonders like WR Roy Williams but it's mostly accurate ... nor did I give weight to perennial All-Pro's like Larry Fitzgerald.
// I am actually working on a formula to quantify draft selections so I had a lot of this data handy.

With the 18th pick the Bears need to take the best athlete available from the WR, OL, DL, or Safety group. We have needs in all of those areas and the best player from that group is who should join the team. Period.

Da Coach:

I tend to agree that DHB may be a reach at #18 see my blog above. I had a little too much wine and it was late, my blog was sloppy.

I tend to agree with you on DHB. I do think the Bears are starting to get serious about a WR pick early however and think that a big body opposite Hester would be the best ticket.

Kevin I also find it really strange the Bears are looking at so many guards when OT is so thin. Unless that is were they like Lang, but all the other guys don't make a ton of sense unless there planning on cutting a guy like Garza. By the way Levitre is probably the second best guard in the draft, that guy is a round 2-3 prospect, he is also a top of the line Center prospect. While he fits Angelos MO I don't think the Bears are going OG in the first 3 rounds. I know they were not happy with the interior line play, but they have no RT, 4 OG but no RT. Omiyale is not a RT, I promise you that. He is to much of a finesse guy to be a RT, from what I have read about him. Even if you think Williams makes it all year and his back is fine, the Bears can't risk that and either way Williams still needs a backup, if he gets dinged up on a play and needs to sit out like half of a game who is gonna play there? Plus do you think they are gonna make a practice squad OT like Cody Balowme a LT backup when he can't even make it as a RT backup? No matter what the Bears need 2 OT's, 1 starter and a backup.

wmfights your wrong about recievers, a lot of guys don't workout in the draft it's not just recievers. But as for recievers and the first round. 60% of all nfl blue chip recievers come out of the first round, a total of 80% come out of reound 1-2. Your chances after the first two rounds of finding a blue chip reciever are very rare. It happens but they are not a dime a dozen. The problem with taking a riciever in round or at any pick is most of the time there first year is not that great. It really doesn't matter what position they take at this point with the first pick, they are that desperate at a lot of positions so they can go best player at a position of need in round 1.

Andre Johnson the best reciever in the NFL(IMO) had 976 yards his first year. There is no one in this class with his talent.
Larry Fitzgerald had 780 yards his first year, again nobody of his calibur is in this draft.
Not to say all guys don't have great first years, it's just most rookies need a couple years to get there feet wet. Steve Smith took a couple years, Roddy White, Calvin Johnson, Jennings, Welker all these guys took a little time.

I hear what everyone is shouting. I really like Maclin and think he is going to be a talent in this league. I hope he is still around when they pick at 18. I also hope we make a play for Tory Holt, I am not expecting any miracles though. I think he can be that reliable guy Orton needs. Creighton, I'm with you on Crabtree. The kids been injured and will probably always be injured his whole career. I hope he goes long before we pick. I also thought I was the only one on getting Garza out of here. He is terrible and lives on his back. With Buenning, Omiyale and Beekman he should see the door shortly. But he may linger like Metcalf did.

GO BEARS.

Kevin A - another OG prospect that might be able to play RT is Robinson from OU. He might be there in the 2nd rd. Lang, Levitre, Thomas are all later picks, career backups probably. The Bears are probably doing their homework in case the guys they like early aren't there.

I know a lot of folks are hyped about Bye (WR) but how many can't miss super fast, or super big guys don't make it? The answer over half!

The Bears will go for QB next year, to do so they have to start now with building the OL. They can find a solid player in the 4th rd or later at WR. OL starters will be gone after the 2nd rd.

I heard an interesting thing on the Radio today, Barry Rozner from the "Daily Herald" asked GM Angelo about Matt Cassel and why he didn't go after him.

Angelo answered and I am peraphrasing here. But he said Cassel had a great year last year, but he was with NE. NE is a great organization, with a great system, they have lots of supporting talent and know how to plug in players, and coach up players. Cassel would not have fit here.

Is it me or did Angelo just slap himself, Lovie, and the Bears in the face. The one thing he didn't say was draft players even though we all know NE is really good at drafting. But that would have implicated him directly. So Angelo basically said NE can get it done and we can't.

ESPN is reporting Baltimore as a potential suitor for DHB, which would be the 26th pick. That might be an interesting proposal to consider. Based on the draft value chart, they would need to give up more than their third rounder to get up there. We would be in a good spot for a guy like Nicks at 26, and could possibly package our two thirds to get back up to the second round (Pats 58 pick looks to be the right match value-wise) for Loadholt. Assuming we get a third for Berrian as a comp pick, we can still get an OL in the third, maybe an Eric Wood or Luigs to groom as Kreutz's replacement.

Jerry likes to move down, so I don't see him sending both thirds to move back up, but I have no trouble believing that he would trade back with someone and leave DHB on the table. If he takes the extra picks for moving down and drafts players, we could end up with 5 picks in the first three rounds (again, counting on the compensatory 3rd for Berrian), which could be nice. We could get a solid start to the hole plugging we need to do.

We another stud O-Lineman. The RT spot needs to be shored up. There are plenty of players on the roster that can be plugged in at guard.. Omiyale, Reed, Buenning.. Not saying that we should ignore the OG in the draft, but we should take a stud RT at #18. There are plenty of solid WR that will be there in the 2nd round. Put a road grader in at RT and it will make a huge difference. Imagine what Forte could do with a stud line in front of him. He made a very average line look very good last year. It all starts up front.. Win the war in the trench first...

Joe: "Jerry likes to move down, so I don't see him sending both thirds to move back up"

You can't trade a compensatory pick so he would have to package it the current 3rd rounder and something else.

NBS: "Brad, I know I'm beating a dead horse, but do you honestly think the Bears will be satisfied going into this season with the trio of QBs we now have?

NBS, you have been beating that horse so long and so hard it's now dating Chris Brown.

// My apologies to Lisa Lampinelli.

Da Coach, I think Joe is referring to the second third round pick we would acquire from Baltimore and our "regular" third round pick in a package for New Englands pick. Not the compensatory pick.

I like the way Joe is thinking here, it's very creative if you can pull it off.

Joe,
Starting to dig that Balt scenario,as long as our 2nd is OL.
Creighton,
JA even trying to match wits w/ a NE ballboy is like comparing blueberries to a gummi-bear...JA is just outmatched !
just for the record,I'm not a fan of DHB.

Heyward-Bey would be an awesome addition but for one problem.....He's not fast enough, Orton's arm is too strong to get him the ball. He can throw it so much further than any QB in the league!! Just ask Hester, he can't even catch up to Orton's cannon arm! What good is a receiver with top notch speed on this team when the sweet-a$$ QB can't keep from throwing the ball out of the stadium?? We'd be better off getting another tight end with a jetpack!.......ORTON RULES!!!!!!!!!!!

the bears should get heward-bay and i also like qb john parker wilson we can get wilson later in the draft probally round 4-5

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 11, 2009 10:17 PM.

Four Down Territory, March 11: What's the role of newly acquired Josh Bullocks? was the previous entry in this blog.

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