Chicago Sun-Times

Smith looking for more than size at WR

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At the NFL Owners' meetings in New Orleans earlier this month, Lovie Smith acknowledged what others have been insisting for months and years: The Bears could use a bigger receiver, someone that can compliment Johnny Knox, Devin Hester and Earl Bennett.

Smith also said size may not be the determining factor if they do choose a receiver.


"That's a fair question," The Bears coach said when asked if he would prefer a bigger body at that position. "Most of our guys, Johnny [Knox] --- Earl [Bennett is] a little bigger --- they are smaller receivers. So to just add a little bit different flavor wouldn't be a bad idea. But as much as anything though, we're just trying to add a guy that can play ball. A big guy, that doesn't fill all your needs, just adding a big guy. I thought our guys did a good job of blocking. You still want to be able to run the ball. You could make the case for always having a bigger guy to be able to block a little bit more. It's more of that than anything else."

The problem is, there aren't many highly rated big receivers in the 2011 draft class.

Georgia receiver A.J. Green and Alabama's Julio Jones are both 6-foot-4 and are almost assured of being the top two receivers taken, which means they could be long gone by the time the Bears are on the clock unless they decide to trade up.

At 6-foot-4 1/2, Pittsburgh's Jonathan Baldwin may be another option.

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11 Comments

Clayton and Dupper for the Dolphins were small speedy wide outs and raised hell for everyone. Johnny Knox just needs to fight through the defender on the end of routes, Bennett is doing great, Hester is trouble some for most defenses with hugh production after the catch. The key is the offensive line and giving consistant protection for Cutler. Of course our offensive coordinators complete history shows that his quarterbacks get laid out on averaged 45 times a season. Throwing to a spot always and not alowing audibles gets your quarterback killed.

So Lovie associates big recievers as basically blockers. They also tend to be kinda good at fighting for the ball position and going up and getting the ball.

However I agree a good player is a good player.

You don't really need to draft a reciever, there are plenty of highly talented big guys in FA this year. Jackson and Floyd both have size and production. Both are in their respective primes and both have played very well in a Coryell style offense.

The big problem is that either will cost you some money which the Bears could afford, however they don't play defense and hte pattern has been to place the money on the defense along with the draft picks.

That's not a knock on the Bears that's just what Smith and Angelo have done. Ok so its a knock anyway but that's what they do. Besides just yesterday Smith said they had to much talent on offense to get the ball around so why add more, they are loaded at evey position on offense. Best offense ever.

We always have to remember that Lovie is not going to give a straight answer to this type question at this time of year.

I can't see them getting much help next year from any receiver in the draft. Even if they somehow got a Julio Jones, Martz wouldn't let the guy play for at least a season or two. So if you are talking next year, that leaves free agency, and I don't see Angelo dropping serious money on a receiver. This means he will probably be looking for his "low hanging fruit".

You could make the case that they are due to hit on a receiver. They have tried to find bigger receivers without much luck. Aromashadu, Iglesias, Monk, Kinder, Rideau (?). I wouldn't be surprised if they threw a second day pick at somebody like that.

Bringing up Clayton and Duper from 25 years ago is useless. The NFL is much different now. There used to be a belief that CB's had to be smaller, hence quicker. I see the picture on the main Bears page of Johnny Knox doing his little stomach crunch there with little skinny claves, no definition in his upper body and people want him to "fight through the defense?" As I mentioned a few weeks ago when the combine was going on, these CB's the last few years are getting bigger and bigger. Knox couldn't fight through a defense if he had a squad of Green Berets with him.

This draft has most people all worked up because those of us who have been fallowing this team for years understand that:
A. Jerry has almost no chance of hitting on say 4 of the first 5 picks this year and for this team to be successful, Jerry needs to do just that. Not that the guys have to be pro bowl selections, but Jerry needs at least 4 guys to come in and be solid contributors.

B. Due to years of horrible drafing, it is the guy entrusted to pull off this year's draft that has put this team in the very spot he needs to get them out of. And as has been mentioned on here by several people, the Bears need this work stopage to end sooner than later so they can hit free agency. There are too many holes to be filled and not alot of guys under contract.

The Bears have to decide what positions are best addressed via the draft and what positions would be best addressed through free agency. Another daunting task for a team that is horrible at talent evaluation. It should be interesting.

Hester had huge yards after the catch??? Lets see Devin Averaged 29.7 yards per game as a reciever, 4 TD's in 13 games started. Maybe it's me but considering the guy was the primary starting reciever, I am gonna say those numbers are far from impressive. I know Forte had big yards after the catch in fact most of his recieving yards came after the catch. But Hester? Knox had 243 yards after the catch which is good for 75th in the league, and Hester had 222 yards after the catch which is good for 86th. Bennett had 212 putting him in the 90's but he isn't starter.

I mean Forte's YAC are a little bloated because of 2 big reception that gave him like 140 yards after the catch. Hester's number is pretty good considering his yards, but you kinda want your" number 1 reciever"(just a Lovie quote, he said it not me) to have maybe better than double Devin's numbers. I mean if you double his yards, double his receptions, double or triple hisTD's and increase his average by about 40 percent and you are looking at a legit number 1.

80 receptions would get him in the top 15 in the league, double his yards and he would be in the top 20 at least that's something, increase his average by 40 percent and he is in the top 35 in the league, and 8 TD's would get him in the top 20. So all he has to do is double his production and he would be a top 20 reciever. Do you think that will happen? I mean he has only been working at the position for 4 years, so you never know. If Hester works really hardd he could get up there with the likes of Mike Williams or Knox.

Speedy little guys who raised hell? Don't forget Carter for the Vikings.....and Seattle's Smith isn't the tallest fellow, either....

What the Bears don't have is a split end, a player who can line up on the line of scrimmage, not off or in motion, and beat press coverage and get to his spot on time. There are smaller receivers who can do this, but in most cases, this is a more physical receiver that can get it done.

Johnny Knox, Devin Hester, and Earl Bennett are all flankers or slot guys, who play off the line to ensure a clean release out of their stance. Sooner or later, the BEars are going to need someone who can beat corners in press off the line and down the field. Whether that is a 6'3 or 6'4 guy, or a 5'10 guy with some strength, that is what they need to be looking for.

If they take another speed, slight guy that can't play on the line, they are just exaggerating the problem. The only thing they can do is put 2 TEs on the field, and have both of them lined up on the line, and both wideouts off the line.

You don't mean Cris Carter do? That's the only Vikings Carter I can think of. He was 6-3 210 and that is not really a small reciever in any way shape or form. What Smith are you speaking of in Seattle? You mean Steve Smith in Carolina? Yes there are always exceptions to the rule. And most teams have a small reciever. Most teams also have a big reciever.

Probably no surprise that last year only 3 of the top 20 recievers stood below 6 feet.

Driver 5-11 198 pounds
Santana Moss 5-10 210
DeSaun Jackson 5-11 170

Even Knox reports in at 6 feet, 190. I think what most Bears fans are looking for is a big reciever who will compliment Knox. Knox is a pure speed guy, he plays smaller than he is, and his routs are not always, lets say crisp. He stretches the field but is not consistant, gets hammered on the jam, can't block and is more of what you want in a Turf or indoor reciever, he is not a go up and get it guy. Hester is similar to Knox and that's not what you want in a starting recieving duo, they don't compliment eachother very well.

well then, let's pack up and make a visit to Chapel Hill. Greg Little would look pretty good in the old navy and orange in the second round and we might as well spend our first pick while we're there on Marvin Austin.
Big time receiver and DT in that order.

Creighton,

You are dead on with Knox. With his "alligator arms" and "turtle head" {goes into it's shell at the first sign of contact} he plays much smaller. If i could map out the Bear's draft it would be like this.

Round 1: Carimi. I think you guys know I love this kid and he has played well against guys that will be drafted in the first round. He might not be there, but he's my wish.

Round 2: Little {WR-UNC} Runs well, some character issues, but interviewed well. This is a big strong WR that can break tackles.

Round 3:Terrell McClain {DT USF} Being out here in Big East country, i saw this kid play fairly often. Very good quickness and instincts. Plus he was a stud at his pro-day.

Round 4: Jalil Brown {CB-Colorado} reminds me of a little faster Tillman. Big, strong, athletic CB ideal for guys like Rice, Johnson, James Jones.

Round 5: Zane Taylor {C-Utah} Big, very strong center. Could play Guard for 1 year if you wanted to keep Olin around 1 more year.

Round 6: Ross Homan {OLB} Very underated kid who would provide depth at OLB plus be a special teams contributor.

Anyway, that's my mock draft. Or wish list. The Bears could be a player in FA as well. Not a one hit wonder, but spread some money out over a couple of positions.

Neil,

Good afternoon. I was just curious as to why it takes so long to get a post up on these topics? It was either Saturday or Sunday when I posted something here about Knox, Hester, and my Bear's 6 round mock draft. There wasn't anything foul or innapropriate. Just curious is all. Thanks.

Gearheadboy

HAYES HERE: Not sure what the problem is. I check it several times a day and when I go through the backlog of comments I don't see yours. Perhaps there was some sort of glitch. Anyway, sorry for the trouble. We really try to keep this thing updated as often as possible.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on March 30, 2011 11:20 AM.

Lovie Smith says Bears need to "find more ways" to get Devin Hester the ball was the previous entry in this blog.

Mocks have Bears taking MSU OT Sherrod at No. 29 is the next entry in this blog.

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