Draft Spotlight: WR Nick Toon

Former Wisconsin wide receiver Nick Toon has the big body Chicago needs in a wide receiver. Yet does that make him a quality pick for the Bears in this year's draft?

Wisconsin held its pro day today. Scouts from at least 11 NFL teams were on hand in Madison, including representatives of the Chicago Bears.

A number of potential draft picks worked out this afternoon, including wide receiver Nick Toon.

Toon (6-2, 215) is a big-bodied wideout that had a very productive career as a three-year starter for the Badgers. In his senior season last year, he caught 64 passes for 926 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is the son of former NFL receiver Al Toon.

Right now, he's projected as a second- or third-round pick. Let's go to the film to see if he's a quality option for the Bears.


WR Nick toon
Jeff Hanisch/US Presswire

Pros

-Very strong route runner. His cuts are sharp and crisp. Sinks his hips coming in and out of his breaks. Can run every route on the route tree.
-Aggressive when ball is the air. Does a good job of tracking and high-pointing the deep ball.
-Uses body well in traffic. Can make catches with defenders on him.
-Powerful blocker.
-Reads coverages well. Can find the soft spots in zone sets. Smart receiver.
-Uses hands well to beat press coverage.
-Played both flanker and slot positions during collegiate career.
-Works hard after the catch.

Cons

-Doesn't show good speed when the pads are on.
-Not much burst off the line. Takes him a while to get up to full speed.
-Will struggle to create separation against the quicker cover corners in the NFL.
-Catches ball to close to his body.
-A lot of silly drops. Lacks concentration.
-When run blocking, he struggles to stay in front of defenders in space.
-Dealt with numerous foot injuries in college.

Analysis

One of the two biggest knocks on Toon was his presumed lack of speed. On film, he can be ponderous off the ball, which has many wondering whether he'll be able to separate from NFL defenders.

Yet Toon ran a 4.54 official 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine. He followed that up by running in the low 4.5s today, with one scout clocking him in the 4.4s. Obviously, in shorts and a t-shirt, Toon has the pure speed that NFL teams desire. Yet it doesn't appear to translate well on the field. If the Bears are serious about drafting him, an individual workout might help them clear up this discrepancy.

The other knock on Toon is his penchant for injuries. He dealt with a turf toe and a deep thigh bruise his junior season, forcing him to miss games. He was healthier last year but the foot injury lingered, forcing him to miss one game. The same foot cost him this year's Senior Bowl as well.

He has ideal size and is a polished route runner, yet his ongoing foot problems are a serious concern. It won't do the Bears any good to drop a second round pick on him if can't stay on the field.

Toon is impressive on film. If his 40 time can translate to the playing turf, he'll make a quality receiver at the next level. His route running and ability to read coverages should allow him to contribute from Day 1.

If he can stay healthy.

He's risky but the Bears could do a lot worse than Toon in the second round. If he falls to them in the third, he'll be almost impossible to pass up.

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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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