Sleeping Giant

Without adding a receiver in free agency, the Bears could be forced to look for depth at the position through the draft. Find out what small school prospect has peaked the team's interest along with a scouting report.

The Bears had used a third and second round choice on a receiver the past two years and have come away with Bernard Berrian and Mark Bradley. Both have shown flashes of starting capability, but injury has held them both back.

Although Bradley currently appears to be the favorite to start opposite Muhsin Muhammad next season, he's coming off a torn ACL that forced him to miss the last 9 games of his rookie season.

Berrian missed five games because of thumb surgery, but looked strong down the stretch. While he carried the passing game in the playoff loss to the Carolina Panthers, the six-foot-1, 180-pounder also had to leave the game with an injury.

After cutting Eddie Berlin on Friday, the Bears have five receivers on the roster. Justin Gage and Airese Currie round out the depth chart after Muhammad, Bradley and Berrian.

Gage has yet to take a step forward during his three years in Chicago. His status on the team could be in jeopardy with any major improvements at the position.

Currie missed his rookie campaign because of two separate injuries. The Bears used a fifth round pick on him because of his speed, which is why he'll likely make the team.

If the Bears are looking for a steal at wideout in the third or possibly even the fourth round, Hofstra WR Marques Colston has the qualifications.

Over three seasons, Colston caught 168 balls for 2,499 yards and 15 touchdowns. The six-foot-5 224-pound receiver has good speed to go with his size. He ran the 40 in 4.55 seconds at the NFL Combine.

The 1-AA prospect caught the eye of scouts with five receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown in the East-West Shrine game.

However, Colston did turn off scouts during interviews when he gave coaches the impression he wanted nothing to do with a potential move to the h-back or tight end position.

TFY Draft Preview Scouting Report
Bio:
All-Conference selection as a senior after posting 70 receptions for 975 yards and five touchdowns. Missed the ‘04 season after leading the team in receiving the prior year with 51 catches for 910 yards 7 scores.

Positives: King-sized wideout whose game significantly progressed last year. Offers the quarterback a big target, gets vertical and out-jumps opponents for the pass. Nicely adjusts to the throw and has reliable hands. Comes back to the ball, makes the reception in stride and looks the pass in.

Negatives: Slows into breaks running routes. Must display better awareness, get past the sticks on third down and consistently catch the ball before he runs up field.

Analysis: A prospect with outstanding size/speed numbers, Colston has the ability to be a No. 2 receiver in the NFL once he gets adjusted to the speed of the game. An outstanding red-zone target who also flourishes on third-down situations.


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