Boom or Bust?

Four spots before the Bears chose Oklahoma wide receiver Mark Bradley with the 39th pick, the Eagles nabbed Georgia wideout Reggie Brown, who is more NFL ready. But Bears G.M. Jerry Angelo is excited about Bradley's potential and his superior athleticism.

"We liked Reggie Brown very, very much," Angelo said. "We think he's more prepared to come in here and play right now, but Bradley brought something to us that we coveted more and that was speed. And he's very, very tough. I can't underscore his toughness as seen on special teams. He's more of a work in progress. But he certainly has taken giant steps given what he's had to overcome and where he's come from at a pretty good football program."

Bradley had 4.43 speed, which is even more impressive considering his size (6-1 1/2, 201 pounds). He could eventually become the deep threat that the Bears have lacked for years.

Bradley caught just 34 passes in two years at Oklahoma after transferring from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but 9 of those catches resulted in touchdowns. He averaged a remarkable 21.3 yards on 23 receptions last season.

Although Bradley is a project at wide receiver, if he's not a quick study his rare athletic ability will not be utilized.

The likely scenario for Bradley to make an impact as a rookie will come on special teams. He averaged 35.3 yards on 7 kickoff returns as a junior and was labeled as one of the best gunners available in the draft.

Bradley came to Oklahoma, where his father Danny was a star quarterback from 1981-84, as a walk-on cornerback because the Sooners were loaded at wideout but shorthanded in the secondary. While sitting out in 2002 as required by transfer rules, he played quarterback on the scout team, where he gave the Oklahoma defense fits. The next year he was back at wide receiver.

Bradley has learned a little about the Bears' problems on offense from former Sooner Tommie Harris, the Bears' first-round draft pick last year.

"He was down there back in school and we talked a lot about the help they needed on offense," Bradley said. "With the help that they can get from different players and different positions, they could be a playoff team and hopefully a Super Bowl team."

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