What Might have Been?

It's difficult to evaluate a draft class until years down the line. However, two players the Bears had serious interest in when they were on the clock appear to be off to good starts with their respective teams.

  • Before trading out of the 26th spot in the first round, the Bears had an opportunity to select CB Kelly Jennings out of Miami. Chicago eventually took Hurricane cornerback Devin Hester in the second round.

    The Seahawks jumped at the chance to take Jennings with the 31st overall selection. He got plenty of work with Seattle's starting defense during the team's recent mini-camp. Jennings was starting on the left side opposite 2003 first-round choice Marcus Trufant.

    Jennings made quite a few plays in coverage, showing improvement from the post-draft camp.

    "I've made a big step since then," Jennings said. "I'm still thinking and there are still a lot of things I'm trying to get together so I can just play, but I'm far along from where I was."

  • The Bears had to wait until the second round to make their first pick. Instead of taking speedy receiver Sinorice Moss out Miami, Chicago opted for Division II prospect safety Danieal Manning with the 42nd overall choice. Moss went two picks later to the New York Giants.

    In his brief stint with the Giants, Moss has impressed Coach Tom Coughlin.

    "As we have seen out here in our OTAs, he is very quick, he is very explosive," Coughlin said. "He is going to be able to do the kinds of things that, quite frankly, we did a couple of years ago with Tiki but got away from last year because we really didn't have the (personnel).

    "I'm talking about the ‘go screens' and reverses and things of that nature. He has the ability to do that. He also is an added dimension to our team just in terms of his physical style of play and the things that he is able to do in contrast with some of the other guys we have got. So we think it is a real good situation. We felt that way when we saw him practice at the Senior Bowl. And we were fortunate enough to be in position to draft him."

    Manning has also stood out during mini-camps and OTAs. Considering his small school background, it will be difficult to justify passing over two quality prospects from a powerhouse program if Manning fails to develop into a starter with the Bears.

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