Bears Like What They See in Boss

Desmond Clark had a career year in 2006, but the Bears could use a young tight end in order to give Rex Grossman another target. With Gabe Reid not being tendered a contract as a restricted free agent, Clark and John Gilmore are currently the only TEs on the roster. Kevin Boss of Western Oregon is rising up some draft boards, and the Bears were in attendance for his Pro Day on Friday.

At 6'6" and 256 pounds, it's not hard to notice Western Oregon tight end Kevin Boss. But just in case any of the representatives from 13 NFL teams - including the Bears - were thinking about napping during his Pro Day on Friday, Boss put on a show that commanded their attention.

At the Combine in Indianapolis, Boss not only posted the best official three-cone shuttle time (6.96 seconds), he was the only tight end to complete it in under 7 seconds. And get this - he did it twice. His second effort was timed at 6.99 seconds. As a result, he didn't participate in that drill on Friday morning.

Even though he finished second through sixth in all other categories, he opted to show his athleticism in those areas again to the coaches and scouts who made the trip to see him up close.

At Western Oregon's McArthur Field, Boss topped his best Combine long jump by four inches with a 10-foot effort. He also exceeded his best Combine result in the vertical jump by half an inch with a 35 1/2-inch jump.

(Photo: Western Oregon Athletics)

But perhaps his two most important achievements came in the 40-yard dash and the bench press.

In Indianapolis, his best 40 time was 4.78 seconds. But he improved that dramatically on Friday with a 4.64-second result. The only tight end to run a sub-4.7 40 at the Combine was Miami's Greg Olsen, who showed 4.55-second speed.

Boss also answered a huge question that had to be on the minds of many teams. Was he fully recovered from shoulder surgery for a torn labrum that ended his senior year back in late October?

At the Combine, Boss didn't perform the bench press because he had received medical clearance to start lifting again only a couple of weeks prior to the event. On Friday, he pushed up 15 reps, just six short of his all-time best of 21, an impressive result considering he's had less than two months of weightlifting under his belt since the surgery.

Boss also reportedly looked sharp in his route-running and pass-catching while working with Wolves quarterback Mark Thorson.

"We wanted scouts and coaches to take a longer look at Kevin, especially in the area of catching the ball," said his agent, Scott Smith of XAM Sports. "They already know that he is fast enough to play in the NFL and he has tested extremely well in all areas, but at the Combine, they run through the skills sessions so fast. Today, he had a chance to shine in one of his strongest areas."

Boss caught 134 passes and scored 19 touchdowns during his career at Western Oregon despite missing the final four games of his senior year. One NFL team has already worked him out privately, and he has another personal workout scheduled this week.

Western Oregon running back Eliot Vinzant, offensive lineman Ryan Belcher and defensive back Jason Buckmier also worked out for the scouts.

Pro Day performance times in this article were provided by Western Oregon Sports Information and Combine times were provided by Scout.com's Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Preview.

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.

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