The Midway Monsters appear to have a decent amount of talent in terms of receivers and tight ends, but they have been in desperate need of a legitimate primary target for quite some time.
Bernard Berrian had every opportunity to emerge as the No. 1 guy this past season, but he dropped a lot of passes in the early going and could now depart via free agency. And while the other starter, Muhsin Muhammad, gets the job done in a possession role and still makes some circus catches from time to time, he's lost a step and just had his most unproductive season since 1997. Devin Hester is still incredibly raw despite his tremendous gifts and Mark Bradley can't get on the field consistently, plus Rashied Davis was relegated to special-teams duty down the stretch in 2007.
Berrian could leave for big dollars on the open market. Muhammad is a potential salary-cap casualty. Hester may not have what it takes to be an every-down wideout. Bradley seems to be in the doghouse. Training-camp favorite Mike Hass was active for a grand total of one game this past season and did not dent the stat sheet.
Since Berrian – whether he stays or goes – might never be a go-to guy in this league and Muhammad is long past carrying a receiving corps by himself, GM Jerry Angelo should be in the market for a pass-catcher or two once the draft arrives in April.
Scout.com is reporting that Bears officials have spent considerable time with Texas wide receiver Limas Sweed during preparation for Saturday's Senior Bowl.
WR Limas Sweed
Donna McWilliam/AP Images
Even though he had his senior season cut short by a wrist injury that ultimately required surgery, Sweed is arguably the best prospect available at his position. At 6-5 and 219 pounds, he has prototypical size and is a nightmare for cornerbacks because of his tremendous leaping ability. He made his share of big plays with the Longhorns, averaging 15.4 yards on his 124 career receptions while scoring 20 touchdowns. A natural athlete, he controls his body in the air and has shown pillow-soft hands. He's also a solid blocker and can beat a jam off the line of scrimmage.While Sweed was fairly productive as a collegian and played great in high-profile matchups, he only averaged about two and a half catches per game in four seasons. Where he goes in the draft will be affected greatly by how well he runs at the NFL Combine, but he appears to be somewhere in the 4.6 range. He'll also have to answer questions about his durability, and not just for last year's wrist problem. Projected to be taken somewhere in the middle of the first round, the Bears would have to consider Sweed at No. 14 overall or will most certainly miss out in him.
John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.