After a quiet start to the offseason, Bears fans have quite a lot to celebrate following general manager Jerry Angelo trading for Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler and also signing future Hall of Fame tackle Orlando Pace on the same day last week.
The receiver position, however, remains a cause for concern, with former cornerback Devin Hester and inexperienced Earl Bennett currently running with the first team. Behind that less-than-dynamic duo, Rashied Davis – he of the questionable hands – and Brandon Rideau – he of the zero career catches – are also getting reps with the starters at Halas Hall. And since Angelo no longer has a first-round pick this year or next year because he surrendered them to Denver in the Cutler blockbuster, landing a top-flight prospect in either of the next two NFL Drafts doesn't seem possible.
It's almost a foregone conclusion that Angelo will select a pass catcher at No. 49 overall in Round 2, and the Midway Monsters have been thoroughly investigating just who might be on the board at that spot.
With private workouts already conducted for Hakeem Nicks and Brian Robiskie, the Bears have most certainly turned the page on elite talents like Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin even though both were formally interviewed back in February at the Scouting Combine. Nicks and Robiskie fit the description of what the coaching staff is looking for to line up opposite Hester: a big possession target that can help move the chains by catching the ball consistenly on short- and medium-range routes. That role was shared this past season by the tight end combination of Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen, often lining each of them out wide since the receivers on the roster left so much to be desired.
Receivers coach Darryl Drake put Juaquin Iglesias of Oklahoma through the rigors of a private workout in Norman this week, but is he a better fit for a Cutler-led passing attack than a similarly-regarded prospect like Robiskie?
To help answer that question, Bear Report called on the opinion of Greg Powers, who is the Publisher of SoonersIllustrated.com on the Scout.com network.
Powers Says: Iglesias is a player that gets the job done. He has an above-average skill set and is a disciplined route runner. He sinks his hips low in his breaks, and he is a pass catcher that a quarterback can count on to be where he is supposed to be. He also rarely drops the ball. He runs good routes but does not have the elite athleticism and top-end speed of some of the receivers that will be drafted ahead of him. He will make plays, but he is not going to be a player that is going to be called upon to out-physical NFL DBs for the deep ball. Iglesias was not highly recruited out of high school and worked hard to turn himself into the best wideout on an NCAA record-setting Sooners team in '08. He works hard and is a respected teammate because of it. He always keeps his cool, and that is probably the main reason he rarely has a dropped ball.
JC's Take: While he's displayed somewhat of an attitude problem from time to time and didn't run particularly well at the combine, Powers gives the distinct impression that Iglesias could develop into a reliable No. 2 target at the next level.
Criticized for never truly being "the guy" for the Sooners despite putting up enviable numbers, his sticky-hands reputation would be a welcome addition to a receiving corps that contracted a bad case of the dropsies at times last year. Bennett's initial scouting report suggested he'd be better served in a slot role as opposed to being on the field every down, so perhaps a bigger and stronger player lining up wide would help the Bears get the most out of him. But if it comes down to Iglesias or Robiskie, look for the latter to hear his name called as opposed to the former – Robiskie is the son of a coach, while Iglesias has proven to be moody.
Nevertheless, Iglesias has the makings of a prototypical possession target and would make some sense at 49th overall if Robiskie has already been chosen.
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Insider Analysis: WR Juaquin Iglesias
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