Bears Scouting Tour (Part III)

The Chicago Bears sent scouts out west to get a closer look at two second-round prospects, a wide receiver and a cornerback, yet show no interest in a talented Pac-12 quarterback.

Click here to view our Chicago Bears Scouting Tour Primer before reading below.

Bears in Attendance: Oregon State

PlayerPos.HeightWeightOld 40 Pro Day 40 BenchVertBroadProj. Round
Markus WheatonWR5-111864.45DNP203710-02-3
Jordan PoyerCB6-01904.54DNP1130.59-102-3
Colin KellyOT6-5298--5.42829.59-3FA

The Bears are in the market for a slot receiver in this year's draft. Earl Bennett has had every opportunity to claim that role but injuries and inconsistent play have made him unreliable. With Oregon State's Markus Wheaton, the Bears could snag a pure slot wideout with big-play potential.

Wheaton led the Beavers in receiving his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, finishing his career as the school's all-time leader in receptions (224). In 2012, he caught 91 passes for 1,244 yards and 11 TDs, earning him first-team All-Pac-12 honors.


Markus Wheaton
Steve Dykes/Getty

Wheaton ran track in high school and dabbled in track while at Oregon State. He has outstanding speed (4.45) but he's even faster on the field, where he consistently runs by defenders. He had a strong showing at the Senior Bowl, where he stood out due to his quickness and blazing speed.

He doesn't have the necessary height (5-11) to play outside, so Wheaton made his living mainly out of the slot, using his after-the-catch ability to turn short passes into big gains. Despite being relatively short, he's thick and strong – he posted 20 bench-press reps at the combine, which was fifth best amongst receivers. His quickness in and out of his breaks is clearly evident, allowing him to easily gain separation from defenders.

If the Bears liked what they saw out of Wheaton, he could be the team's selection in the second round, assuming he lasts until the 50th overall pick. In Chicago, he would make a great complement to the big receivers out wide, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, and could take advantage of the attention those two command.

Also working out for the Beavers was CB Jordan Poyer, another potential second-round selection. Poyer had a great senior season, picking off seven passes and deflecting seven others, earning him AP First-Team All-American honors.

Poyer isn't extremely fast and can struggle at times in man coverage. He's best suited in a zone-heavy defense, similar to Chicago's Cover 2 system. He's physical when the ball is in the air and aggressive against the run.

Poyer's skill set fits what Chicago looks for in its starting cornerbacks. He's quick enough to play in the slot but will be best suited outside. The Bears are long in the tooth at cornerback and need fresh young talent at the position. Poyer would give them just that.

And on top of that, Poyer is an accomplished kick and punt returner. Extra value on special teams is something Bears GM Phil Emery loves from his rookies.

Bears not in Attendance: Arizona

PlayerPos.HeightWeightOld 40 Pro Day 40 BenchVertBroadProj. Round
Matt ScottQB6-32124.69DNPDNP319-102-3
Mark WatleyS6-2190--4.44DNP38.510-6FA

Of note here is Chicago's apparent disinterest in Arizona quarterback Matt Scott, a fast, athletic quarterback. In Bear Report's positional analysis for the draft, we identified Scott as a player the Bears could reach for early in the draft.

Jay Cutler's contract is up after this season and there's no guarantee he'll be back next year. If the two sides can't work out a long-term deal by the start of the 2014 offseason, Cutler could walk. If that happens, and the Bears do nothing before then to hedge against that possibility, the club will again be stuck without a viable starting quarterback. After numerous decades of pathetic quarterback play prior to Cutler's arrival, Emery would be wise to start considering worst-possible scenarios.

With that in mind, Emery may choose to draft a quarterback in the upper rounds of this year's draft, much earlier that most assume. Scott has a very high ceiling and his ability to run would give him value even as a backup. If he reaches his potential, he'll be a starter in the NFL, one who can beat you with both his arm and his legs.

Yet apparently the Bears don't have much interest in Scott. The absence of a team representative at Arizona's pro day is a strong indicator he will not be coming to Chicago.


Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

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