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Need No. 1--WIde receiver

Players on roster

WR Devin Hester (signed through 20013)
WR Earl Bennett (2011)
WR Rashied Davis (2010)
WR Brandon Rideau (2009)
WR John Broussard (2010)
WR Devin Aromashodu (2010)

Need

Let's see if we can get this straight. Prior to the trade for quarterback Jay Cutler just more than three weeks ago, general manager Jerry Angelo said the Bears had talked themselves into drafting a wide receiver in the first round with the 18th overall selection. Angelo thought there was a good chance the Bears could land a "blue'' receiver in that spot, meaning a guy who has a chance to be an elite performer. The Bears needed to upgrade their receiver corps and Angelo was willing to take the plunge after drafting only one wideout in the first round in the combined tenures of his time with the Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kyle Orton needed the help and it was on the way. OK. What exactly has changed?

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The Cleveland Browns are rumored to be working to trade wide receiver Braylon Edwards and if they rid themselves of him in the same offseason that they have traded tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., they're going to need to some players to catch the ball.

They'll get a look at one Tuesday when they put Georgia wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi through a private workout in Athens, Ga., joining the Bears as one of four teams to put him through drills on campus. Detroit and New England have also worked out Massaquoi, who is considered a fast riser on draft boards with less than a week to go. While there was speculation a month ago that Massaquoi would be a third-round pick, it looks like he could go in the top half of the second round now. There's no guarantee he will be available when the Bears select 49th overall with the 17th pick in the round.

Massaquoi has also made visits to Dallas and Tennessee, which pick after the Bears in Round 2.

Nolan Nawrocki over at Pro Football Weekly, the guy who puts together one of the finest draft guides there is, has a terrific draft value chart that is worth looking at.

It provides a good glimpse at where some of the players the Bears have been scouting the last few weeks are forecasted to go, as well as some other information. Nawrocki updated it today and it reflects some of the sentiment around the league that North Carolina wide receiver Hakeem Nicks could be falling. One source we spoke to Monday said he didn't expect Nicks to be on the board when the Bears select at No. 49 in the second round, but he wouldn't rule it out after concerns about Nicks multiplied when he showed up out of shape on his pro day.

Nawrocki's chart has three levels for each round--A, B and C. A is for players in the top-third of the round, B is for players in the middle of the round and C is for players in the bottom third of the round. He has Nicks at 2B with the arrow pointing down. The Bears' pick is the 17th of the round, so that indicates Nawrocki believes he will be coming off the board right around where the Bears are at.

We stirred some considerable debate Saturday when we suggested the Bears were locked into a wide receiver in the second round with the 49th overall pick.

Now that they have quarterback Jay Cutler, it's time to outfit him with the appropriate weapons.

Not everyone saw it that way. Some feel the addition of three starters on offense--Cutler, left tackle Orlando Pace and projected to left guard Frank Omiyale--signal a move to defense in the draft. At least in the early rounds. Certainly there are those out there who feel the Bears need some real work on the defensive side of the ball. Clark Judge of CBSSports.com writes that Cutler is not necessarily a cure-all for all things wrong with the Bears.

Earlier this week it looked like the Bears were in a position where they had to draft an offensive tackle in the first round.

What a difference a few days makes. Not only do the Bears not have a first-round pick any longer after acquiring quarterback Jay Cutler from Denver, they filled a pressing need on the line by signing seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Pace.

That leaves the Bears with a complete line, minus a young tackle to eventually join Chris Williams in the starting lineup, and some flexibility when it comes to the draft, right?

Wrong.

The addition of Cutler has made it a virtual lock the Bears will have to draft a wide receiver when their pick comes up in the second round, 49th overall, the 17th pick of the round. The idea that Cutler will make the cast they currently have better is only going to go so far. There is no Brandon Marshall on this roster. There might not be an Eddie Royal on the roster either depending on how Devin Hester progresses. Marshall and Royal gave Cutler one of the better 1-2 combinations in the league in Denver.

"I don't think quarterbacks make receivers, and I don't think receivers make the quarterback,'' Cutler said. "It's a joint mesh there, we've got to both be on the same page. I've got to deliver the ball and they've got to be in the right place. I can't do it without them, and they can't do it without me."

We got a lot of questions regarding Orlando Pace and the makeup of the Bears' offensive line and we're going to address that in a separate blog post a little later on. This is our first Q&A since last Thursday, and we will probably do our next one some time over the weekend. Let's get right to it.

Q: I heard you on the radio earlier today suggest that the Bears could trade linebacker Lance Briggs in order to get Jay Cutler. Do you really believe that? He's been their best defensive player since Tommie Harris stopped playing at a high level on a regular basis and I can't think where the Bears' defense would be without him. Tell me you're kidding. April Fools, right?

Chester, Chicago

A: In visiting with Mike Murphy on the WSCR 670-AM, I was trying to make the point that the Bears may have to deal just about whoever the Bears want for Cutler. The Broncos, it's believed, are seeking two first-round picks and a quarterback to start. Who knows if anyone will offer a package like that for Cutler. But there is a chance that Denver could look at Kyle Orton and say, ``no thanks.'' It's hard to say how the rest of the league views Orton, but it's probably safe to say most clubs don't hold him in the same esteem as the Bears do. Predictions of Rex Grossman being a commodity in free agency didn't go over so well, did they? It could be the league frowns on Bears' quarterbacks.

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Jerry Angelo may be fixated on the quarterback position, but judging by the Bears' actions of late, he's fixing to do some work at wide receiver.

You can add another wideout to the growing list of players the Bears are going to get together with prior to the draft. Ohio State's Brian Robiskie is expected to meet 1-on-1 with the club. Whether it's a private workout in Ohio or a visit to Halas Hall is not known at this point.

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