Back in 2004 the Bears found a receiver with a story not to unlike the one that belongs to Derek Kinder.
Bernard Berrian was projecting to be a first-round draft pick going into his junior season in 2002 when he blew out his knee in the first game of the season.
His recovery from the injury, combined perhaps with the departure of Fresno State quarterback David Carr, led him to fall a year later. The Bears grabbed him in the third round and felt confident they had gotten a player who could have gone two rounds earlier. They proved to be right. They wish they still had him today.
Nobody is saying Kinder will be the next Berrian, but the Bears are going to give him a good look. The Pitt receiver will be at Halas Hall today for an official pre-draft visit.
He's a sleeper going into this draft and might surprise a lot of people how early he winds up being chosen. Kinder ran the 40-yard dash at his pro day March 17 and one watch had him at 4.46 seconds. At 6-foot, 202 pounds, he can stretch the field vertically, which makes him similar to Berrian in that respect. He was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award in 2006 and then Kinder had a medical redshirt season in 2007 after suffering a torn ACL.
He is considered a solid blocker who will work hard on special teams and he's just now getting to full strength with the knee. The Bears, of course, will give him a physical to see how it checks out. Kinder might just check out in pretty good position on their draft board. Keep an eye on him.