Bears Draft Prospects: WR – Rounds 1-3

It's no secret that the Bears are in desperate need of a playmaking wideout. We analyze the wide receivers Chicago could select in the first three rounds of the upcoming draft.

We have discussed in detail the need for the Chicago Bears to upgrade its passing attack with fresh blood at the wide receiver position. There are plenty of options in free agency this year. While at the same time, the incoming crop of receivers is nothing to sneeze at, especially near the top of the draft.

Here then are 12 wideouts Chicago could potentially select in the first three rounds of this year's draft.

Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State (6-1, 208)
Blackmon is the consensus top receiver in the draft. He'll likely be selected with one of the first five overall picks. The only chance Chicago has at him would be to trade up in the first round. It's unlikely they'll do so, especially considering the other glaring needs on the roster, but it's not out of the question. New GM Phil Emery cited Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff as one of his biggest influences – the same GM who traded nearly all his 2011 draft picks to move up and select WR Julio Jones in the first round last year.
Projected: Top 5 pick

Michael Floyd, Notre Dame (6-3, 218)
Floyd has the physical tools to be an elite receiver in the NFL. He's big, fast, has outstanding hands and knows how to use his body to shield defenders. His off-field issues are a concern – three alcohol-related offenses during his collegiate career – and could scare off a number of possible suitors. But as far as potential goes, Floyd is at the top of this list.
Projected: 1st round


WR Kendall Wright
Scott Sewell/US Presswire

Kendall Wright, Baylor (5-10, 190)
Wright is arguably the most-dynamic receiver in the 2012 class. He has outstanding speed and is deadly after the catch. He can beat defenders deep, stretching opposing defenses, yet also works well on underneath routes. Many are comparing him to Minnesota's Percy Harvin because of his wide-ranging skill set.
Projected: 1st round

Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina (6-4, 233)
Jeffrey is one of the biggest receivers in the draft. He doesn't possess great speed and his route running needs a lot of work, but his size and athleticism has some scouts drooling. He demonstrates great hand-eye coordination and superb body control. After the catch, he's a load to bring down. He's raw and won't likely be able to contribute right away but he has boundless potential.
Projected: Low 1st round – high 2nd round

Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers (6-2, 215)
Sanu does everything well. He runs solid routes, has phenomenal hands, good speed and solid after-the-catch ability. He'll likely be a possession receiver in the NFL, yet his abilities in the open field, to go along with his strength, could make him an occasional homerun threat. Sanu is arguably the most NFL-ready wideout in this draft class.
Projected: 2nd round

Rueben Randle, LSU (6-4, 208)
Randle has great size and excels in the red zone. He doesn't have outstanding straight-line speed. He does his best work on slants and over-the-middle routes. He's raw and struggled against the better secondaries he faced in the SEC.
Projected: 2nd round

Nick Toon, Wisconsin (6-3, 217)
The son of former NFL wideout Al Toon, Nick has good size and runs good routes. His hands are suspect and he lacks ideal speed. He also dealt with health issues. If he can work on his hands, he'll make a fine possession receiver at the next level.
Projected: 2nd - 3rd round

Dwight Jones, North Carolina (6-3, 226)
Jones is one of the more-underrated receivers in this class. He has good size and speed, and he's tough to bring down after the catch. He's a physical player, which should translate well to the NFL. With UNC, he didn't get a ton of opportunities, which has caused his draft stock to fall. Make no mistake though, he's a talented wideout that could be a draft-day steal.
Projected: 2nd – 3rd round

Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech (6-4, 206)
Hill is a raw prospect with a very high ceiling. He has ideal size and good speed. In jump-ball situations, he excels. Last season, he averaged 29.3 yards per catch. His route running, as well as his overall game, needs work, but he could turn into a top-tier receiver at the next level.
Projected: 3rd round


WR Tommy Streeter
Robert Mayer/US Presswire

Tommy Streeter, Miami (Fla.) (6-4, 215)
Streeter is another raw, big-bodied wideout. He has long arms and big hands and does well catching the ball away from his body. He doesn't have elite speed but his long strides help him create separation once he hits full speed. His leaping ability is off the charts. His route running needs polish and he struggles against press coverage. He's also been known to put the ball on the ground. A project, Streeter has the potential to be a quality slot receiver in the NFL.
Projected: 3rd round

Brian Quick, Appalachian State (6-4, 222)
Quick has great size, good hands and good body control. He was one of the practice stars during Senior Bowl week. He's a smooth route runner who tracks the deep ball well. He has enough initial quickness and top-end speed to beat defenses deep. His size and agility should make him a quality red-zone threat. He does well absorbing hits while making the catch.
Projected: 3rd round

Juron Criner, Arizona (6-2, 220)
Criner is a tough receiver who can make the difficult catches in traffic. He has good hands and enough speed to stretch defenses. His route running is polished and he should be able to create separation from defenders in the NFL. Excels in one-on-one battles down the field.
Projected: 3rd round

BEAR REPORT PICK

If he's available, the Bears should not pass up Floyd in the first round. His character is questionable but he has the potential to be a Top 10 wideout in the NFL. If Floyd is gone, Wright would be a solid slot player that would add an extra dimension to Chicago's offense.

Yet the pick here is Jeffrey. He's a borderline first rounder. As such, the Bears might be able to trade down in the first and still select him, picking up extra picks in the process. Jeffrey has the type of size and athleticism that Chicago's offense desperately needs. Jay Cutler would have no problem tossing jump balls his way. He's a project but has the potential to develop quickly.

If the Bears pass on receiver in the first round, then Dwight Jones is the pick in the 2nd or 3rd round. He's been underrated to this point due to a lack of production in college, which is the fault of UNC's system. He's a sleeper pick with a nice blend of size and speed. His physicality should serve him well at the next level.

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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