Positional Analysis: Wide Receivers & Tight Ends

Whether it's a wideout or a tight end, anyone catching the ball will have a smile on their face, as a new offensive scheme is introduced and Rex Grossman is now the man distributing the ball.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Marty Booker, Dez White. Backups -- David Terrell, Justin Gage, Bobby Wade, Ahmad Merritt.

Booker was the only reliable producer of the veterans. His numbers were way down after catching 197 passes the previous two seasons. But he missed three games with a high ankle sprain and played through a rib injury while still catching 52 passes for 715 yards. Booker has accomplished quite a bit in three years without the benefit of a legitimate complementary receiver.

A stubborn coaching staff stuck with Dez White for four years, the last two as a full-time starter, to little avail. He never put his combination of size, speed and strength together and never showed anything after the catch. He is expected to leave without a fight during the free-agent period.

Terrell remains a first-round bust, although some of his misfortune was the result last year of a steady diet of passes within two yards of the line of scrimmage. But most of the problem is Terrell himself, who lacks speed to get separation and has been inconsistent catching the ball.

The rookies, Gage and Wade, both showed promise, especially Gage, who demonstrated big-play ability. Either or both could push Terrell down the depth chart or out of town if he doesn't improve in a hurry.

There is little chance that Jerry Angelo will look to add a receiver early in the draft, but could look to add a burner in the later rounds. The problem is any player left with speed on day two of the draft usually can't catch the ball.

TIGHT END: Starter -- Desmond Clark. Backups -- Dustin Lyman, John Gilmore.

Clark wasn't as much of a factor as he or the Bears thought, but he still caught 44 passes for 433 yards and two touchdowns.

Lyman is a solid backup and special-teams player who keeps getting hurt. Last year it was a bruised spleen, which knocked him out of the final seven games.

Gilmore has the best size of all three and has shown decent hands in the past, but he was never part of the passing offense last season.

While the Bears have interest in drafting either a left tackle, defensive linemen or running back with the 14th selection in April's draft, all bets would be off if Kellen Winslow is still on the board.

Not only does Angelo covet the Miami tight end, but also new offensive coordinator, Terry Shea, is leaving the best tight end in the game behind in Kansas City. Tony Gonzalez, a five-time Pro Bowler, is a difference maker at tight end averaging 75 receptions per season over the past five years with 43 touchdowns over that span.

Winslow would instantly jump ahead of Clark, possibly even making him expendable. If Terrell can't fill bill then Winslow would play second fiddle to Booker.

The Insiders contributed to this report.


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