Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner did not put together much of a passing attack this past season, and now he'll have to somehow improve through the air without his top two receiving targets.
Veteran Muhsin Muhammad was released Feb. 18 and speedster Bernard Berrian signed a $42 million deal Mar. 1 with the rival Vikings, and those two combined to catch 111 passes in 2007. Youngsters Mark Bradley and Devin Hester will have to take on larger roles, yet Bradley has been plagued by injury and inconsistency while Hester is still learning the nuances of the position. The signings of Marty Booker and Brandon Lloyd make the depth chart a little more respectable, but Booker will turn 32 years old during training camp and Lloyd is already on his third team since `03 because of attitude problems.
The Monsters of the Midway have a lot of needs on draft weekend, and the wideout position appears to be right at the top of the list.
WR Keenan Burton
James Crisp/AP Images
BearReport.com has confirmed that the Bears have shown considerable interest in Kentucky receiver Keenan Burton, who is receiving a third- or fourth-round grade around the league.
Burton (6-0, 202) has pretty good size and enough room on his frame to add even more muscle, and he's shown outstanding athletic ability to go get the football when it's in the air. He'll break tackles in the open field like a running back from time to time, and he's always been a maximum-effort guy as a blocker. He doesn't have elite deep speed and will have trouble getting past cornerbacks in the NFL, plus he needs to improve his route-running on short and intermediate patterns.
According to Burton, he's already had private workouts with the Chiefs, Falcons, Jets, and Patriots, but the Bears and Colts spent the most amount of time with him at Kentucky's pro day in Lexington.
Assuming Bradley, Hester, Booker, and Lloyd are all locks to make the 53-man roster, there is still room for at least one more receiver because neither Mike Hass nor Brandon Rideau has caught a pass in the pros yet.
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.